(CNSNews.com) – “It is time to stop creating excuses for voting for pro-abortion politicians,” Supreme Knight and CEO Carl Anderson said Tuesday during the opening session of the Knights of Columbus’ 134th annual convention in Toronto.
Pointing out that “abortion is different” from other issues facing voters, Anderson exhorted his lay Catholic membership to vote for pro-life candidates regardless of party affiliation and “end the entanglement of Catholic people with abortion killing.”
Reiterating remarks he made in 2008 at the group’s convention in Quebec, Anderson said: “Once again we meet during a presidential election campaign in the United States. And once again the question confronts us: How should Catholics exercise their responsibilities as citizens?
“Catholics often confront a dilemma in deciding how to vote. Can we support a candidate who may be attractive for many reasons, but who supports abortion? Some partisan advocates have sought to excuse support for pro-abortion candidates through a complex balancing act. They claim other issues are important enough to offset a candidate’s support for abortion.
“But the right to abortion is not just another political issue. It is in reality a legal regime that has resulted in the death of more than 40 million people," the Supreme Knight said.
“Imagine for a moment the largest 25 cities in the United States and Canada, including New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Dallas, and Vancouver. All of these cities suddenly empty of people. This is what the loss of 40 million human beings would look like,” he pointed out.
“In fact, 40 million is greater than the entire population of Canada. What political issue could possibly outweigh this human devastation?
“The answer, of course, is that there is none. Abortion is different. Abortion is the killing of the innocent on a massive scale. And we need to end the political manipulation of Catholic voters by abortion advocates. It is time to end the entanglement of Catholic people with abortion killing. It is time to stop creating excuses for voting for pro-abortion politicians,” he continued.
“We will never succeed in building a culture of life if we continue to vote for politicians who support a culture of death,” Anderson told convention attendees, which included nearly 100 Catholic bishops.
Quoting the 49th chapter of Isaiah (“Before birth, the Lord called me. From my mother’s womb He gave me my name.”) Anderson told the gathering that the scriptural passage reveals a “profound truth” that “the child in the womb is a real living person.”
He pointed out that according to a recent poll, a majority of citizens in both the U.S. and Canada are in favor of significant restrictions on abortion.
“Today, an overwhelming majority of Americans support restrictions on abortion. They say abortion is morally wrong, and they are against taxpayer funding of abortion. About 8 in 10 Americans would significantly restrict abortion, according to a survey we commissioned from the Marist Poll. A majority would restrict abortion to only the rarest circumstances. And almost 6 in 10 Canadians want substantial restrictions on abortion,” he said.
“By a wide margin, a majority of Americans say that professionals and organizations should not be forced to provide abortion when they have moral objections.
“And strong majorities disagree with the reasoning of this summer’s U.S. Supreme Court decision on abortion. Seven in 10 Americans think these [abortion] doctors should be required to have admitting privileges at local hospitals, and they want these clinics held to the same standards as other outpatient surgery centers.”
Reminding the crowd that “Knights are among the most visible participants in the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.” and elsewhere, Anderson added that “we are changing hearts and minds… and every time we save a life, we change history. This is why the Knights of Columbus will always be at the forefront of the pro-life movement, from conception to natural death."
Citing remarks by Pope Francis, Anderson said that Catholics should not shy away from participation in the political process.
“Pope Francis has emphasized how important it is for Catholics to be engaged in the political process. His words regarding the importance of Catholics being faithful citizens are especially important for us. He said this: ‘Politics according to the social doctrine of the Church is one of the highest forms of charity because it serves the common good.’
“He also stated that we have to do our best by participating in politics according to our ability.
“Now, this does not mean partisanship. Nor does it mean that we should be party men. But it does mean that we should stand for the common good and for those moral and religious values that make possible our free and democratic institutions. And foremost among these is the equal dignity of every human life and the right of every person to freely practice their religion.”
“Catholic voters have the power to transform our politics,” Anderson added. “Faithful Catholics can build a new politics that is not satisfied with the status quo, but one that is dedicated to building up a new culture of life… and a new civilization of love.”
“Being a light to the nations means being a light to our own nation,” the Knights CEO said.