First, the article is here.
I'd like to hear what the pro-lifers who post here think of the final quote: "I think that this kind of thing is counter-productive for the pro-life movement. It's branding abortion as a Catholic issue ... rather than a human rights issue," he said. (I think it's an important statement for everyone to consider.)
Personally, I think it's acceptable for church officials to say, "This candidate's views are in line with the church's view, this candidate's are not." I don't like it, but I accept that it happens. To deny participation in the faith based on how parishoners vote in an election seems to go beyond expressing a view and well into exerting pressure, which may begin to fall into the `bad idea if you want to keep that tax-free status in the diocese' category.
Admittedly, there's a futility to it -- I don't believe the diocese would ever have access to anyone's voting records and it's not something that could be enforced in any realistic or evenhanded manner, but the article still interests me.
Do you feel this is a smart tactic to prevent people from voting for pro-choice candidates? Do you consider it ethical? Do you consider it moral? Do you think it crosses the church/state separation line? Why, or why not?
Perverse, not-as-sarcastic-as-it-may-sound musing on the topic: What if each of the candidates running in the area held a different view counter to the teachings of the church? Would anyone who voted at all be barred from the sacrament? The concept alone raises a number of interesting questions, though not all of them are related to abortion directly.