I don’t think Bishop Robert Finn thinks “Hope and Change” provides an effective substitute for Catholic teachings. In an interview with Kansas City’s Chris Stigall today, the bishop makes it clear that Catholics who vote for a radically pro-abortion candidate risk formal cooperation in an excommunicating act:

I would say, “Give consideration to your eternal salvation.”  Because to vote for a person who has expressed a fanatical determination to not only support abortion as it exists now but to remove all limitations on it through the Freedom of Choice Act, and to extend it without any recourse, throwing out all of the efforts of citizens over the last 35 years to place reasonable limits on abortion, that voting for a person who has expressed his determination to do this to Planned Parenthood, to NARAL — that you make yourself a participant in the act of abortion.  That’s gravely wrong, and you mustn’t do it because your eternal salvation is tied up in that important choice.

Bishop Finn references paragraphs 2274 and 2322 of the Catechism, which plainly sets abortion above most other offenses.  Finn warns against formal participation in abortion, this time by enabling the government to dismantle the meager restrictions in place in some states to limit abortion on demand.  The term “participant” is no accident; a participant in abortion becomes excommunicated latae sententiae,” “by the very commission of the offense.”

Finn reminds the faithful that their actions have consequences.  Perhaps that message will be heard, although the relative silence from the pulpit over the last few months may have deafened some Catholics already.