Some Catholics frame the choice as "a lesser of two evils," and use this to excuse themselves from voting. Framing the choice as "a lesser of two evils" does not do justice either to the candidates or to Catholic teaching on voting. As shown below, Obama represents evils that categorically exceed current evils, i.e., not differing merely by degree. As for voting, Catholic teaching does not admit supporting the lesser of two evils. As shown below, Catholic teaching admits "peremptory" voting to prevent grave evils, as in voting against a "subversive candidate," as Pope St. Pius X taught. Furthermore, failure to vote peremptorily in a grave situation was regarded as a mortal sin.
Obama vs Romney
On life issues, Obama is obviously proabortion, and worse, pro infanticide. Romney is historically proabortion, however, he claims to have changed to pro-life. He has pledged to stop public funding of Planned Parenthood. He also chose Paul Ryan, a pro-life Catholic, as his running mate. To me, this issue is alone grave enough to vote Romney.
Going beyond abortion, Obama has instituted a whole new killing field, a Communist and eugenic extermination of the sick and elderly. This is ObamaCare. ObamaCare employs government panels to decide who gets care, and who gets sent home with a pill. Additionally, ObamaCare is a frontal attack on the Church, forcing Catholics to partipate in sin. Romney has pledged to repeal ObamaCare.
Obama has been strongly influenced by Communism, and preaches a socialist, redistributionist, view of society. The Communist connections of Obama are documented here, here, and here. Pope Leo XIII's condemnation of socialism is here. Romney opposes socialist economic principles.
Catholic Teaching on Voting
The following excerpts are taken from a 1952 article that gives a thorough treatment of the subject. Other references from the Catholic Encyclopedia are included.
When Pope St. Pius X ascended the papal throne in 1903 he held to the principle of the Non expedit (Ven. Pius IX's prohibition of participation in Italian elections), though he attenuated its force by granting dispensations for the elections of 1904 and further modifying it with his Il ferme proposito of June 11, 1905. He declared that the faithful might take part in such elections as the bishops judged expedient to prevent the election of a "subversive" candidate.
Pope Pius also sent a letter to the Spanish people on the duty of voting (February 20, 1906), reminding them that when the cause of religion or of the state is endangered, no one can be indifferent. The faithful could render great good by taking part in the elections.
In March, 1948, the Sacred Consistorial Congregation declared that all the citizens of Italy were bound to vote, but only for “those candidates in which there is a certainty that they will respect and defend the observance of the divine laws and the rights of religion and of the Church in both private and public life.”
The Archbishops and Bishops of Liguria told their people to use the ballot, especially to oppose Communism, and to vote “in accordance with conscience or else they not only sin mortally, but likewise become responsible for all the consequences of their action."
Three years later in 1951 Cardinal Elia Dalla Costa of Florence told the faithful of his archdiocese that failure to vote in certain critical circumstances was a more grievous sin than missing Sunday Mass or neglecting the annual Easter Communion. Such were his strong words:
Even township elections can cause enormous damage to our institutions. To realize the importance of this it is enough to observe that whoever abstains from voting, or who votes for individuals who oppose Christian faith and morals, automatically makes himself responsible for all the damages that come after that to souls and to consciences. He thus makes himself guilty of a sin much greater than missing Mass on Sunday or not making the Easter Duty. The latter are individual sins, whereas a badly given vote or a neglected vote is a social sin which damages – and oh how gravely it damages – the community, the countryside and the very state itself.
Cardinal Schuster also told his people to vote in this vital election affecting “our religion and our future” because “it will decide whether Italy will remain free and Catholic, or whether it will be grouped among the states which are satellites of the Soviet Union.” He called upon the priests to offer prayers for three days prior to the election for the defeat of Communism. The bishops of the regions of Liguria and Emilia urged their flocks to vote against the enemies of religion. The semi-official paper of the Vatican, L’Osservatore Romano, devoted a front page article to the “Peremptory Duty” of voting in the elections to subdue the forces of evil.
It will be understood, of course, that these admonitions and commands from the hierarchy dealt with grave circumstances so that the obligation of voting at these times were grave. But they illustrate the gravity of the duty in times of crisis and certainly the principle holds in all times of similar character.
While it's beyond my position to assign sin to Catholics who fail to vote, it should be clear that the gravity of the current election would meet the criteria set forth in the article above.
Pray the Rosary for a favorable outcome on November 6th. Please get out and vote.