Cardinal Ruini Urges Italian Catholics Not to Vote
"Cardinal Ruini, in his remarks on the Italian referendum, said that he was grateful to the Catholics who were planning to follow the directive from the country's bishops, for "a conscientious choice not to vote." The referendum, on proposals to amend Italy's law regulating in vitro fertilization, offers voters only the choice to embrace the current law allowing such procedures, or to eliminate restrictions on the practice. The Italian bishops have argued that by abstaining from the vote, Catholics can avoid a choice between evils, and also make it unlikely that the referendum will bring the 50-percent voter turnout that is required to make it legally binding. The referendum will be conducted on June 12 and 13."
This is the first time I can remember hearing that Catholics are being encouraged to not vote. It certainly makes sense, though; even the lesser of two evils is still evil. The only statistic I could find on Catholicism in Italy is that, in 2000, Italy was 94% Catholic. That seems really high to me, so if anyone can provide an accurate number, it would be much appreciated. Anyway, even if the country is only half as Catholic as that statistic states, if Catholics don't turn out for this vote, the referendum can't pass. Kudos to the Italian bishops for making this call.