Catholic Cardinal: 'It's Better to Vote for a Good Protestant Than a Bad Catholic'

Michael W. Chapman | September 18, 2020 | 12:27pm EDT
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Cardinal Gerhard Muller, former head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  (Screenshot, EWTN)
Cardinal Gerhard Muller, former head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. (Screenshot, EWTN)

When asked about the group "Catholics for Biden" and whether a Catholic can vote for someone who is pro-abortion and anti-family, Cardinal Gerhard Muller, the former doctrinal chief at the Vatican, said Catholics must have "the right understanding of life" and human rights and that it is "better to vote for a good Protestant than a bad Catholic."

On EWTN's The World Over, host Raymond Arroyo asked Cardinal Muller, "Before I let you go, the Catholics for Biden group -- a member of which is coming up shortly -- they are openly endorsing Joe Biden as the Catholic candidate for president. Now, Donald Trump isn't even Catholic, so maybe this is academic. But would you say it is possible for any catholic to endorse a candidate, given their public and platform that the Democratic Party now represents, where the pro-life plank has been dismissed, it opposes church teaching on family and religious freedom. Can a Catholic support somebody like that, much less vote for them?"

Cardinal Muller, the former head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office that maintains and defends the integrity of the faith, said, “I think as we are citizens in a pluralistic state with religious freedom. And, I don’t support a candidate in Germany because he is Catholic but because he has the right understanding of life and the basics for human rights."

"And it’s better to vote for a good Protestant than for a bad Catholic," said Muller.  "We must judge according to what they are doing and not only [according] to their words. That is biblical criteria. Look to the fruits.” 

A scene from "The Passion" movie, Jesus and His mother, Mary. (Screenshot, YouTube)
A scene from "The Passion" movie, Jesus and His mother, Mary. (Screenshot, YouTube)

Earlier in the interview, Cardinal Muller, who is from Mainz, Germany, said, "The doctrine of the Church is the moral doctrine and the social doctrine and we have to look for candidates who are in favor of life, this is the basis.”

"[I]f you are Catholic, you can only be pro-life, for life,” said the Cardinal. 

“To be Catholic, to be a Christian is believing in God, the creator of everybody," he said.  "You cannot say ‘I am Catholic, I’m a Christian, I believe in God but I accepted the legislation which includes the possible killing of people in the mother’s womb and outside the mother's womb.’ That is absolutely clear.” 

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Presidential candidate Joe Biden, who claims to be a Catholic, supports abortion across the board, under any circumstances. He also supports gay "marriage" and the gay adoption of children. 

The Catholic Church teaches, "Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law: You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.

"God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes."

A woman undergoes an abortion.  (Getty Images)
A woman undergoes an abortion. (Getty Images)

Pope St. John Paul II taught in Evangelium Vitae, "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.

"In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to 'take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or vote for it.'"

In 2002, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who served as Pope Benedict XVI from 2005 to 2013, wrote a "Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life."

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The note, approved and published by St. Pope John Paul II, repeated that Catholic lawmakers have a "grave and clear obligation" to oppose legalized abortion and other attacks on the right to life, reported Amy Furr of CNS News.  The church said it was "impossible" for a Catholic to promote such laws.

"John Paul II, continuing the constant teaching of the Church, has reiterated many times that those who are directly involved in lawmaking bodies have a grave and clear obligation to oppose any law that attacks human life,” states the Doctrinal Note. “For them, as for every Catholic, it is impossible to promote such laws or to vote for them."

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