Voting choices "may affect the individual's salvation"
Dec 11, 2007
One year before next November’s national elections, U.S. Catholic bishops overwhelmingly approved new moral guidelines for Catholic voters that prioritize ending abortion and warn that political choices could affect a person’s salvation.
The guidelines were approved November 14 in Baltimore by a vote of 221-4 during the semiannual assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The bishops have issued the election-year guidelines every four years since 1976, and with candidates from both parties currently making “faith outreach’’ to voters a top priority, the bishops took pains to stake out their own role.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).