Bishop Warns Voters Could Put "Soul in Jeopardy"
The Bishop says he's only trying to inform members of the Green Bay Diocese about the election in the letter, but others believe he's gone too far. Video by nbc26.comvideo
Green Bay Catholic voters getting a warning from their Bishop at services this weekend stating their vote in this election could put their "soul in jeopardy."
The Bishop says he's only trying to keep his congregation informed about the election, but others believe he's gone too far.
"It's narrow, it's negative, it's close-minded," voter Peter Ketcham said.
The words in this letter are not speaking to Ketcham a non-Catholic.
"Going on and on about what's intrinsically evil, you know this is not the dark ages anymore," Ketcham said.
Bishop David Ricken is asking all parishes to put this letter in their bulletins. It asks church-goers to keep Catholic principals in mind before dropping a ballot, including what he calls the non-negotiables--abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning and homosexual marriage.
It goes on stating,"To vote for someone in favor of these positions means that you could be morally "complicit" with these choices which are intrinsically evil. This could put your own soul in jeopardy."
Bishop Ricken and the diocese declined an on-camera interview, but emailed us a statement that reads, "It is my duty as a moral leader of the Catholic Church, to help people be well informed about important moral matters that affect us all. My letter should not be misunderstood as an endorsement of any political candidates or parties."
But that's not what Ketcham sees.
"I'm not sure what place there is for religion to get involved in politics. It doesn't seem like a good mix to me," Ketcham said.
We tried talking with other congregations and local Catholics, but no one wanted to comment. Bishop Ricken says he will answer the media's questions about the letter in a news conference Saturday morning.