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Theologian makes Catholic case for supporting Obama


Both friends and strangers have challenged why a Catholic theologian like me would publicly support the re-election of President Barack Obama. The implication always is that my Catholic faith should dictate otherwise.

Of course, I cite Catholic social doctrine (note the weighty term) and the mandate of my faith to care for “the least” among us (Matthew 25:34). Social programs for the common good and especially for the most vulnerable are central to Catholic social teaching.

By contrast, Ayn Rand’s proposal of a “virtue of selfishness,” besides being an oxymoron, is the antithesis of Catholic faith.

If implemented as social policy — a la the Romney/Ryan budget — the neediest among us will suffer by far the most. Some 64 percent of its alleged “savings” come from cutting programs that aid poor families and individuals.

The comeback is invariably around abortion, whereupon I explain that my opposition to abortion is precisely the tipping point that prompts my unqualified support of President Obama.

As a loyal Catholic, I accept the teaching of my Church that “every human life, from the moment of conception until death, is sacred” and that abortion is “gravely contrary to the moral law” (Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 2319, 2271).

Though the U.S. Catholic Bishops caution, “As Catholics we are not single issue voters” (Faithful Citizenship, November 2007), yet with some 1.3 million annually in the U.S., abortion presents our country with a grave moral crisis.

The dilemma for citizens like me is that the great majority of our fellow Americans favor some possibility of abortion and do not want to criminalize it again.

As Thomas Aquinas taught wisely, laws must reflect “the consensus of the governed” and there is no agreement in this country to ban all abortions. Even Gov. Mitt Romney is now making “exceptions.”

When faced with a strategic dilemma in applying a general moral principle, the same Aquinas argued that Christians should choose whatever appears to be the lesser evil and the greater good.

In this light, the most feasible moral choice is to reduce the number of abortions. So, Catholics like me and citizens of like mind should support the candidate who has the best abortion reducing policies.

There is ample evidence that good social programs can dramatically reduce the number of abortions — and that the lack of them increase it. The Dutch and the Germans have an abortion rate approximately one-third of the U.S. because they have universal health care, including prenatal and postnatal care, and programs to encourage adoption.

All the statistics show a deep correlation between abortion and economic need. More than three out of four women give economic reasons for choosing abortion, and the abortion rate is 300 percent higher among people below the poverty level than those above it.

A fine instance of good social services reducing abortion is the Massachusetts health-care plan that Gov. Romney signed into law before his flip-flop on health care.

It has lowered the number significantly, with a 21 percent decrease among teenagers. [More]


Thomas Groome/GoErei.COM



  1. Stan Jacobs says:

    Stop rationalizing your heretical rhetoric!

  2. Don_E says:

    A Generation Betrayed explains a lot about the author who believes doctrine should be dynamic and change with the times. Perhaps he believes abortion is no longer intrinsically evil as many on this site – who knows? I have read with disgust the feeblest of excuses to vote for an Obamination of public policy that violates Catholic teaching and common sense morality. Watch the “koolaid.” It may not be as sweet as it seems.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Voted Obama-Biden and was proud to do so.

  4. Michael Joseph Francisconi says:


  5. Peggy says:

    The mandate to form our consciences requires us to THINK. That means to be open to reconsidering propositions that no longer correspond to the truth. Including the Church’s when the “signs of the times” demonstrate that revelation must be reconsidered in light of new evidence. Example: “HUMAN life begins at conception” That is a philosophical concept that embryological advances contradict. At earliest, HUMAN life begins at the point of indivuation of the fertilized egg. So excluding a politician for going along with the common consensus that not all abortion is evil doesn’t make sense. I go along with Dr. Groome in supporting the politician like Obama who tries to support the poor pregant women so they have alternatives to abortion. It is called prudential judgement; choosing the lesser evil

  6. Ed Hynes says:

    Grome puts it beautifully. I do not understand how any Catholic could support Romney and Ryan, or how someone read Ayn Rand and think she could be reconciled with Catholicism.

    • DENNIS says:

      Ed Hynes I don’t understand either.

      Ayn Rand’s philosophy (Objectivism) and Christianity are antithetical. What is good in the Bible is evil in Objectivism and what is evil in the Bible is good in Objectivism.

  7. Tony says:

    Romney has fill flopped on about abort ion before and he will flip again. He is a phones. He is not 100% against abortion. He doesn’t mind abortion in the case of rape and incest.

  8. Deacon Holcombe Pryor says:

    I am the child of an unmarried teen age mother who was very poor with no insurance. I am glad that this Catholic theologian was not around to advise my mother because I would have never seen the light of day. Further, in comment concerning our care for the poor, may I remind Dr. Croome, that there are more citizens living in poverty and more citizens receiving food stamps under the Obama administration than in any time of our history.

    • DENNIS says:

      Hey Deacon.

      We are just emerging from the worst recession since the Great Depression. No wonder “there are more citizens living in poverty and more citizens receiving food stamps”.

      If your memory fails you, you can look it up in the history books. The recession was caused by the Bush administration.

      Now you want to try those policies again.


      “”Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.””

      • Michael says:

        The Bush Administration with the backing of a Democratic House and Senate.
        Remember, the Houseing Market crashes because of Democrats like Barney Frank who made laws forcing banks to give loans to people for houses they would never be able to afford. I agree that Bush was incompetent, but, the Democrats who were leading him were just as guilty, even more so. Let’s to the blame on all involved. Oh, I forgot, Democrats don’t do that.

        • DENNIS says:

          Michael remember the old saying “the buck stops here”?

          Bush’s wars, Bush’s tax cuts, Bush’s deficit (remember he started with a surplus), Bush’s great recession.

          I must admit you did come up with one of the funniest lines I have heard in quite a while.

          “Democrats who were leading him”

        • Ed Hynes says:

          Off hand I’d say the mortgage industry had a lot more to do with the bad loans than any law supported by Barney Frank, and I sure don’t remember hearing complaints from banks during the boom–just endless advertisements for adjustable rate mortgages. I’m really puzzled by your referring to “the Democrats who were leading” Bush–I think “caving in to” would be the better way of putting it. The Republicans controlled the House throughout the Bush years and the Senate from 2003 to 2007.

          • Catholic Lady says:

            Ed; I think you might have something there. In Canada, the banks require the borrower to have a larger downpayment on properties than American banks require before loaning money through mortgages. More equity in the homes means less people just walk away from their properties when times get tough.

    • Tony says:

      Holcombe, Obama didn’t cause the depression he inherited it. Romney said he doesn’t care about the 47%of the poor.

    • Kateri says:

      Deacon, the poor on food stamps and living in poverty are there because of the economy produced by the Bush years. Economists say it is unlikely that anyone could have turned it around in 4 yrs.

    • Catholic Lady says:

      My, my deacon. Do you not have any respect for the conscience of the woman who chose to carry you in her womb and give birth to you, instead of seeking out a back street abortionist.

  9. DENNIS says:

    Mary Dall.

    What are you talking about?

    Romney said this about the poor.

    “I’m not concerned about the very poor”

    Explain what you mean by ” pro jobs policies”. Cutting government spending is synonymous with cutting jobs.
    Where do the new jobs come from when you start by digging a deeper hole?

  10. Mary Dall says:

    If this man is a noted theologian, I must suggest that theology “isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.” the choices aren’t Obama vs. Ayn Rand. Romney and Ryan have both shown themselves to be compassionate individuals and their pro jobs policies will allow more people to be independent and not need assistance. Too often I see where “theologians” seem to want to have more people depending on government AND the
    church. (Perhaps for the survival and proliferation of both?)

    • DENNIS says:

      Mar Dall.

      Almost forgot about 47 percent of Americans that are freeloaders who pay no taxes. His job, he told a group of wealthy donors, “is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

      He could be a poster child for “compassionate individuals”.


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