I. The Theological Principles of Voting
Principle 1: All Catholics are bound to vote in an election.
This is proved through:
(a) The Teaching of the Roman Pontiffs.
(i) Explanation of the Proof.
All Catholics are bound to assent to the teachings of the Popes. This is not applicable only to infallible, ex cathedra pronouncements (e.g. Pius XII’s Munificentissimus Deus, which infallibly declared that the Blessed Virgin Mary was assumed body and soul into Heaven), but also to non-infallible teachings. Thus when, in 1896, Pope Leo XIII decreed that the “Holy Orders” of Anglican priests are invalid (i.e., nothing “happens”. They are still laymen.), this was not infallibly declared, but still demands our assent. It would be mortally sinful to deny Pope Leo’s teaching on the matter.[ii] Hence, the common expression Roma locuta est, causa finita est / Rome has spoken, the case is closed. Therefore, all Catholics must submit to the teachings of the Popes.