Holy Church is precisely for sinners, for bad Catholics. The Lord is going to sort us all out in good time, as in the parable of the wheat and the tares.
Everlasting bliss for some, eternal agony and fire for others.
That WILL happen.
We have the Church so that we can move from being in habitual sin into habitual grace. In the Church we have the means to be good Catholics or bad Catholics as we choose with the help of grace.
The Church teaches authoritatively about matters of faith and morals. She is pretty clear about the important issues. If you act in a way that is contrary to what the Church teaches, you are not a good Catholic. If you know what the Church teaches and you persist in acting against what the Church teaches, you are a bad Catholic. You are in peril of Hell.
If you are really poorly formed, through no fault of your own, and you have acted out of ignorance, you are still on a slippery slope, but you may be less culpable for your objectively errant acts.
While you breathe, there is hope! When you die, you will no longer have any chance to change your fate. That’s will be it.
That WILL happen.
If you take anything about the Four Last Things – Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell – seriously, you will seek to form your conscience properly according to the clearly expressed mind of the Church. The ultimate fate of your eternal soul depends on it.
If you recognize what you are going face, then you will examine your conscience and figure out if you are a good Catholic or a bad Catholic – yes, there are good and bad Catholics – and then do something about it. If you are in the state of grace, you will strive to remain good and faithful. If you are in the state of mortal sin you will strive to correct your life, make amends, seek reconciliation and go to confession.
If, by seeking to form your conscience well according to the mind of the Church, you discover that you have been wrong about something, culpably or inculpably, you will make corrections. If you don’t, you put your soul at risk of Hell.
This is pretty simple stuff. It might not be an easy path to walk, but it isn’t all that tough to figure this out.
A Catholic who consistently promotes things like abortion and same-sex marriage is a bad Catholic. He or she remains Catholic, and therefore subject to the canons 915 and 916. Catholics cannot promote abortion in any way. Catholics cannot promote same-sex marriage in anyway. To do so would make one a bad Catholic.
To do so as a highly visible public figure would also be proportionately grave scandal.
Some people say that Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi are not Catholics. They are certainly Catholics, by their formal relationship with the Church.
Leaving aside the invisible state of their particular souls… we see their actions.
We can make a pretty good argument that they are bad Catholics.
Because they are so highly visible, and because the scandal they have caused is so grave, they of necessity must publicly admit that they were wrong to promote abortion and same-sex marriage, abjure their former positions and then work to undo the damage they have caused. Even if they go to confession and are reconciled with God, they must still make PUBLIC reparation for the harm they have done. They owe this to all of us out of justice.
Until they do, can. 916 clearly requires them not to present themselves for Holy Communion. Until they do, can. 915 requires all of the Church’s pastors to deny Holy Communion to them… because they obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin by their continued promotion of abortion and same-sex acts.
It is the obligation of their pastors in the Church, their priests and bishops, to admonish them and to apply whatever medicinal censures they might in order to correct them. Bishops and priests are obliged to do this to save their own souls. They have to do this to save the souls of those errant scandal causing politicians. They have do this to protect the souls of their other subjects, who would be confused and lead into error by those sin-promoting politicians. If their Bishops do not work to correct them subjects, they put their own souls at risk.
All of that is a preamble.
I cannot see how a Catholic can – in good conscience – vote for a candidate who openly and often supports and promotes abortion and same-sex marriage. This is especially so in the case of abortion, the preeminent human rights issue. All other major social issues are susceptible to contingent choices. We can argue for this or that approach to virtually all social problems. But that is not the case when it comes to the right to be born. Hence, a Catholic who supports and promotes abortion is a bad Catholic.
Gerhard Card. Müller, former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told Raymond Arroyo on EWTN:
“[I]t is “better to vote for a good Protestant than for a bad Catholic.”