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Catholics in the political arena must recognize that opposition to intrinsic evils, such as abortion, euthanasia, genocide, embryonic stem-cell research and same sex unions is always required by the faithful Catholic. Because these intrinsic evils are direct attacks on human life and marital dignity, they are nonnegotiable for every Catholic. Catholics must recognize, too, that in the other human life issues -- such as immigration, capital punishment, the economy, health-care and war -- the dignity of the human person must first and foremost be taken into consideration in seeking solutions to these questions.
As John Paul II reminded everyone involved in civil and legislative affairs, "A law which violates an innocent person's natural right to life is unjust and as such, is not valid as a law" ("Evangelium Vitae," 90). "Abortion and euthanasia are thus crimes which no human law can claim to legitimize. There is no obligation in conscience to obey such laws; instead there is a grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection" (ibid., No. 73). We are warned in Scripture and by John Paul II that "we must obey God rather than man" (Acts 5:29, "Evangelium Vitae," 73).
Every Catholic who supports intrinsic evils is reminded that they will one day stand before the judgment seat of God and give an account of themselves and how they lived the Gospel of Life.
At the same time, as pro-life Catholics, we must have concern for immigrants, the suffering, the sick and the poor. We must work for the avoidance of war, the elimination of the death penalty and an end to drug trafficking. If we are truly going to be pro-life and build a true culture of life, all of these are matters of concern.
While there can be different solutions for questions regarding some issues which are not intrinsic evils, the inherent dignity of the human person from the moment of conception to natural death must be the lens through which all decisions are made. We must constantly, at every level, promote the dignity of the human person and the truth that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God from the moment of his or her conception until natural death.