Sister Patricia McCann, a Catholic nun, and Rosemary Horvat, mother of three and grandmother of nine, both believe abortion is wrong and hold strong views on a range of political issues.
Abortion is a significant issue but not the sole determinant in their choices for president, the women say. They work as volunteers in opposing campaigns.
Horvat, 69, of Harrison City pitches in at Republican John McCain's headquarters in Greensburg, rounding up volunteers for the pro-life Arizona senator.
McCann, 72, an archivist for the Sisters of Mercy and retired teacher of church history at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, makes telephone calls from Democrat Barack Obama's Pittsburgh office to solicit support for the Illinois senator, who is pro-choice. [...]
Catholic voters indeed could help swing the election in Pennsylvania, but not necessarily on the energy of the abortion issue, said G. Terry Madonna, a political scientist and pollster at Franklin & Marshall College.
"Catholics are not all pro-life. In fact, they are not much different than Protestants on the issue," Madonna said. "There are culturally conservative and culturally liberal Catholics, but they have become swing voters in recent years -- which is why they are important politically." [...]
McCann, the nun who volunteers for Obama, opposes abortion but said many other "life" issues, such as ending the war in Iraq, make her an enthusiastic Obama backer.
"The Catholic church teaches that abortion is an intrinsic evil, along with euthanasia, murder, war, torture, racism, oppression of people," McCann said. "For me, life means from conception to natural death, so I look at the full range of issues."
I'm afraid the good Sister is a little confused. War, for instance, is not intrinsically evil, and while overt oppression is evil, the phrase "oppression" is often used in America to refer to people who are poor, uneducated, and the like, which isn't really the same thing as direct oppression.
Sad though it is to me that a nun wastes time volunteering for the Obama campaign--aren't there any better works of charity for retired nuns in Pennsylvania to be doing?--the saddest line to me in the whole article was the quote, "Catholics are not all pro-life."
If we are speaking of Catholics who go to Mass every Sunday and participate in the life of the Church, then they should indeed all be pro-life. You can't be a Catholic and support abortion, despite the fact that some have tried to claim that this is possible. You can't have access to the wealth of the Church's teachings on the subject and still think for a moment that abortion might not be a terribly evil, soul-killing, and deeply, mortally sinful act of murder.
When the election is over, I hope that our nation's bishops will realize how important it is for them to teach this truth, that you can't be Catholic and be in favor of abortion. Catholics should all be pro-life; there's no room in the Catholic Church for the culture of death.