Following is the full text of a letter to the Editor published today by the Detroit Free Press and submitted by several faculty members of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. The original submission to the newspaper was signed by six faculty members. The newspaper inexplicably refused to include the names of three of the original signatories to the letter. I include those names below.
Here is the text:
"The headline of the Sept. 7 Detroit Free Press instructed, "Catholics allowed pro-choice vote." That headline and much of the subsequent article was distressingly misleading.
U.S. bishops, in their statement "Faithful Citizenship: A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility," asserted: "Abortion and euthanasia have become preeminent threats to human life and dignity because they directly attack life itself, the most fundamental good and the condition for all others."
Abortion, the deliberate killing of a human being before birth, is never morally acceptable. The destruction of human embryos as objects of research is wrong. This document speaks against many evils in our culture, but it makes repeatedly clear that abortion is the preeminent threat and that the right to life is the condition for all other rights. We must note very carefully that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger stated that a vote for a pro-abortion candidate needs to be "for proportionate reasons."
Consider: Is it always wrong to vote for someone who would legalize a serious intrinsic evil, such as slavery? Suppose the pro-slavery candidate had a good health care policy or a good proposal for increasing employment, would those considerations outweigh his or her pro-slavery stance? Suppose a pro-life candidate was waging a war one thought to be unjust or was not working hard enough to ensure good health care or civil rights. Similarly, suppose one thought the pro-abortion candidate had stronger pro-life stances in areas other than abortion. The proportion surely tilts toward protection of the life of unborn persons, not other issues. Those who are enslaved certainly have a greater interest in freedom than in health care; those who are in the womb have a greater interest in continuing to live than to possess a health care plan.
Each year in the United States, there are about 1 million babies who die through abortion. They never get to enjoy any of the privileges we all hope for -- not the freedom to vote or access to health care.
Yes, injustice is done to those who experience discrimination, who are sent to fight in unjust wars, who don't have health care. But they at least have life and the opportunity to fight for other rights. The dead unborn do not. What can outweigh that consideration?
Robert Fastiggi [Associate Professor of Theology], John Hittinger [Professor of Philosophy], Janet E. Smith [Father Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Issues], Professors, Sacred Heart Major Seminary"
Other signers not revealed by the newspaper: Eduardo Echeverria, Associate Professor of Philosophy; Mark Latkovic, Professor of Theology; Father Earl J. Muller, S.J., Bishop Kevin M. Britt Chair in Christology.
Here is the link.