New York archbishop urges 'pro-life voting'
Archbishop Edward M. Egan on Sunday urged his archdiocese's 2.4 million parishioners to cast votes for candidates in next week's elections who 'share our commitment to fundamental rights for the unborn'.
The archbishop's remarks were contained in a letter he sent to the 413 parishes in the diocese, instructing that it be read before Masses on Saturday night and Sunday, the New York Times reports.
On Sunday, at St Patrick's Cathedral, the archbishop told about 2000 worshippers that he felt obliged to speak out on moral matters during this election season and that bold statements were expected from the New York archbishop.
He did not mention political candidates or parties by name in either the letter or his homily.
Church commentators said the archbishop's remarks largely reflected a 1998 directive from the National Conference of Catholic Bishops declaring that Church leaders had a pastoral duty to 'persuade, correct and admonish' elected leaders who supported abortion so that they might undergo a 'change of heart', the Times said. The conference also instructed the bishops to urge parishioners to register their opposition to abortion by speaking out and voting, the newspaper added.