Whether political apathy is a mortal sin.

Started by Mono no aware, May 09, 2024, 08:52:14 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

Mono no aware

What I'm interested in, though, is the fundamental principle: whether a Catholic is obligated to vote in order to prevent evil. 

If the circumstances in a certain place and time make an election a choice between two or more evils, the lesser of which is difficult to determine, then I agree, the principle would not apply.

Bonaventure

It doesn't appear that the Church has made a general, objective ruling on that.

None that I can find.

For example, is one obliged to vote in:

Iran
North Korea
China
Cuba
Venezuela

Bonaventure

I mean, FFS, the Gay Old Party is drafting articles of impeachment against Joe simply because he threatened to force Israel off of the government teat.

Could any trad Catholic ever imagine this.

Could we imagine any of the Popes Pius writing us that this is the kosher krap we have to vote for?

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/house-gop-drafting-biden-impeachment-articles-israel-aid-cutoff-threat.amp

KreKre

#33
When priests and bishops said "a Catholic is required to vote" or "not voting is a sin of omission" or anything of the sort, in every case that I am aware of, they were speaking regarding some specific elections, urging the faithful to take action and make a difference.

If the elections are, for example, like in North Korea, where you only have one option on the ballot, then it is obvious that you should not vote, since in that case, voting means you are giving your consent to the evil regime.

However, the demons around you might convince you that the situation in your country is just as hopeless as it is in North Korea. That there is no vote that can possibly make the situation any less bad than it is. That all options on the ballot are equally terrible. They point out the flaws of all candidates, to demoralize you. In reality, what they are appealing to is your laziness, complacency, and they tempt you to commit the sin of despair. This is because the demons have a preference in the election and they simply do not want you to vote differently. Taking advise from these demons and giving in to apathy would certainly be a grave sin.
Christus vincit! Christus regnat! Christus imperat!

Mono no aware

Quote from: Bonaventure on May 10, 2024, 01:01:06 PMIt doesn't appear that the Church has made a general, objective ruling on that.

None that I can find.

For example, is one obliged to vote in:

Iran
North Korea
China
Cuba
Venezuela

Probably not.  But if a Catholic has a choice between a pro-abortion candidate and a pro-choice candidate (all other things being equal, in an election which the Catholic has good confidence is not merely a show election), then is the Catholic still not obligated to vote?  It seems like political apathy in such a situation would be sinful on the grounds of having a moral obligation to prevent evil.  Pius VII's principle would apply.

Mono no aware

Just for clarity: I'm not talking about Trump vs. Biden.  That choice interests me for other, completely different reasons.

Bonaventure

#36
Quote from: KreKre on May 10, 2024, 01:57:43 PMWhen priests and bishops said "a Catholic is required to vote" or "not voting is a sin of omission" or anything of the sort, in every case that I am aware of, they were speaking regarding some specific elections, urging the faithful to take action and make a difference.

If the elections are, for example, like in North Korea, where you only have one option on the ballot, then it is obvious that you should not vote, since in that case, voting means you are giving your consent to the evil regime.

However, the demons around you might convince you that the situation in your country is just as hopeless as it is in North Korea. That there is no vote that can possibly make the situation any less bad than it is. That all options on the ballot are equally terrible. They point out the flaws of all candidates, to demoralize you. In reality, what they are appealing to is your laziness, complacency, and they tempt you to commit the sin of despair. This is because the demons have a preference in the election and they simply do not want you to vote differently. Taking advise from these demons and giving in to apathy would certainly be a grave sin.

I live in a major metropolitan area on the Left Coast.

The situation here is as hopeless as North Korea. We are Americans all ascribe a certain sanctity to democracy and voting. It's a part of the national ethos. My wife was a religious in temporary vows in the Philippines. She never ever voted in her life.

I'm not in Idaho or Kansas.

That's why I previously said, it depends.

If I am in a small Texas county of 15,000 souls and my buddy at the FSSP chapel is running for sheriff: he is a married man, 4 kids, pro life, etc. then I'd say yes, I would probably be morally obliged to vote for him.

Same goes if it is mayoral race, etc.

In this day and age, it depends.

queen.saints

Quote from: Mono no aware on May 10, 2024, 11:56:51 AM
Quote from: queen.saints on May 10, 2024, 06:51:48 AMWhen there was a threat to the Church in Italy in 1948, Pope Pius XII said, "In the present circumstances it is strictly obligatory for whoever has the right... to take part in the elections.  He who abstains, particularly through indolence or from cowardice, thereby commits a grave sin, a mortal offense." AAS 40, 119.

Thank you.  This is exactly what I was looking for.

No problem at all :)
I am sorry for the times I have publicly criticized others on this forum, made statements contrary to the Catholic Faith, and any other forms of scandalous, false, or ignorant posts and pray that no one believes in or is influenced by them.

KreKre

Quote from: Bonaventure on May 10, 2024, 02:07:59 PMThe situation here is as hopeless as North Korea. We are Americans all ascribe a certain sanctity to democracy and voting. It's a part of the national ethos. My wife was a religious in temporary vows in the Philippines. She never ever voted in her life.
Perhaps it is, you know the specifics much better than I do. I would be very careful before declaring something "hopeless", though.

Often a situation seems hopeless to me, that's the main theme of the current day and age. I struggle with motivation a lot. But then I pray and think about it, try to find out what saints and great popes have said about it (one cannot make a mistake by taking advice from St. Pius X or Leo XIII), and (at least so far without exception), I realize that feeling hopeless is actually just me being more comfortable in my despair than in doing my duty and accompanying my prayer with action. Then the demons flee, and I can no longer be comfortable in despair.
Christus vincit! Christus regnat! Christus imperat!