Confession and Politics

Take a look at The Modesto Bee, the Nov. 29 edition. (  An article about the local Catholic pastor advising his flock to return to the confessional if they voted for Obama.  According to the Modesto Bee, Fr. Joseph Illo wrote the following to his parishoners:  “If you are one of the 54 percent of Catholics who voted for a pro-abortion candidate, you were clear on his position and you knew the gravity of the question, I urge you to go to confession before receiving communion.  Don’t risk losing your state of grace by receiving sacrilegiously.”  This letter was sent to over 15000 members of St. Joseph’s  parish in the diocese of Stockton.  Fr. Illo also made the point in a homily.

Reportedly, Fr. Illo’s bishop disagrees with him, indicating that Catholics should not feel compelled to disclose to a priest how they voted.

Apparently, Fr. Illo has received strong support from his parishoners for his comments.

Will abortion split even our Church?

As I have said in previous posts, I cannot support with my vote any candidate for state or federal office who publicly and actively supports abortion rights.  I do not want to try to explain to my Lord at the time of my death my reasoning for voting for a pro-abortion candidate such as Obama, given present political, social and economic conditions.

Therefore, I vote differently.

Whether to confess a vote for a pro-abortion candidate,  I think confession is good for all of us.  If we don’t frequent the sacrament, we do ourselves and the Church a disfavor.

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona, Minnesota.
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6 Responses to Confession and Politics

  1. Michael Young says:

    you without sin throw the first stone………..perhaps sometimes sin, in this day and age should be defined. It seems somewhat unusual for a priest, bishop or other clergy or for that fact anyone to make a pronouncment of a sin for a parish, perhaps it is needed but some may be a bit leary of such a statement….it is as if they are saying that the person that will be the next president is an evil person, I do not know if he is or isn’t, that is not for me to decide, aren’t we all made by one Creator, we are all sinners, his decisions pehaps can change, maybe they won’t but if they do, does that make him a…

  2. John Yerhot says:

    Perhaps this is an easy answer, but….

    For me personally, I have yet to hear a satisfactory answer to why the Church (and it seems most social conservatives) have chosen abortion as their issue of choice verses the many other issues that exist in our world.

    I think for many non-religious people (pro-lifers) out there they find it very hard to see this point of view, or really find it a valid perspective, especially as you pointed out in an earlier post, their tolerance of capital punishment and wars.

    I’m not arguing the morality of the issue – just giving my $0.02

  3. admin says:

    Good thoughts. I believe though it is a misconception to say the Church has chosen abortion as their issue of choice. Far from it. The Church has written and spoken about other social justice issues a lot more than abortion. More homilies and more Church documents from the bishops and popes are focused on those other issues.

    Take some time and log onto and click onto the “social justice” tab to get a day’s worth of reading about death penalty, immigration, economic injustice, war, housing, environment, etc. To say that the Church is “socially conservative” may not well describe its positions.The press and the public seem to be interested only in the Church’s position on abortion because the press knows it to be a divisive issue and makes a lot of news.

    Why many individual prolife people are so adamant about abortion is because it is, in fact, the unjust taking of completely innocent, defenseless human life. We feel as strongly about it as we would about slavery, or the Holocaust, or genocide. The “seamless argument” in the prolife position requires that those opposed to abortion must be consistent and oppose other anti-life issues also, such as euthanasia, capital punishment, and unjust war.

  4. karen querna says:

    A woman chooses abortion not because of choice but because of lack of choice.
    Resending Roe vs. Wade is not the answer. Creating a society that empowers women to have control of their bodies and lives is as start. Helping the poor, caring and nurturing those in need. Being a foster parent, taking in teens in need, mentoring children with issues to love life and others. Creating a health care system (medical and psychological) that allows all to access equally.
    As Catholic its our actions that create choices for those in need that will prevent abortions. Being Catholic is more than not voting or voting for a particular candidate.

  5. admin says:

    I will be one of the first to affirm your comment about helping the poor, caring and nuturing those in need, creating a health care system allowing equal access for all. Being Catholic is so much more than one’s vote.

    I think rescinding Roe v. Wade is imperative, for justice’s sake. It cannot stand when it so unjustly deprives a whole segment of our society of their basic human right to life. And we must prevent FOCA from becoming law.

    It has been my experience in working with women who have had abortions, that the large majority of them did not feel they had a choice because someone pushed them into it before they had adequate time to reflect on what they could do and what choices they had. All of them had choices, but somehow the options available to them were withheld from them by some significant other.

    Anyone who claims the title of prolife but does not strongly work toward good healthcare, childcare, income and housing, etc. for single and married moms is missing a huge part of the prolife mission.

  6. John Yerhot says:

    Thanks for the response.

    That that last bit “… non-religious people (pro-lifers)…” should have read ‘pro-choicers’… it was late and I was ready for bed…

    It is good stuff to think about. I agree with Karen, though. Creating a society where we can give each other the respect and dignity we all deserve is what to strive for. Striving to stop the unwanted pregnancies from happening in the first place. How to get there is the question.

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