US Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore has been condemned by pro-life forces within the Catholic Church for his definitive support for abortion.
    "Let there be no doubt: I will protect and defend a woman's right to choose," Gore said at the Democratic National Convention in August. "The last thing this country needs is a Supreme Court that overturns Roe v. Wade."
    More recently he has said he thinks it should be legal to execute pregnant women who are on death row. Sunday's edition of the National Catholic Register
    Asking whether US Catholics can vote for Gore in good conscience, Sunday's edition of the National Catholic Register quoted the advice of Msgr. William Smith, professor of moral theology at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, New York.
    Msgr Smith told the paper that while there's no doubt that aiding or assisting in an abortion would be a sin, it's much tougher to pin culpability on a voter who chooses a candidate who supports legal abortion.
    Moreover, he told the Register, he said it is "intrinsically stupid" to vote for such a candidate because "if you can't trust them with human life, what can you trust them with?"
    Meanwhile, Richard Doerflinger, spokesman for the US Bishops' pro-life office, made it clear that the bishops do not tell Catholics how to vote.
    "The Catholic Church does not make assessments in the way in which combinations of issue and personality combine to form acceptable and unacceptable candidates," Doerflinger told the Register.
    Zenit (available soon)
3 Oct 00

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