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Letters & Op-Eds - 2008

washington post

Catholic Tenets and the Vote

Jon O'Brien

28 February 2008

Joe Feuerherd is unlikely to go "straight to Hell" or even to experience any backlash from his bishop or parish priest for deciding to cast his vote one way or another. If the Catholic hierarchy were to start doling out punishments to every Catholic who strayed from church instructions, there would be little time for anything else.

Most Catholics pay little if any attention to their bishops when deciding how to vote. Almost all sexually active Catholic women have used a method of contraception banned by the hierarchy; Catholic women also have abortions at or just above the rate of other women; and Catholics in general follow their own consciences when entering the ballot box, just as Mr. Feuerherd has decided to do. 

This Letter to the Editor was originally published in the 28 February 2008 edition of the Washington Post.