Makalah asked:

What is the Church's teaching on material cooperation with evil? How would that apply to situations in your life?

Patrick Madrid replied:

"... The Church's teaching is that we can never do evil for a good goal ... Let's say there are a lot of poor people the next town over from where you live ... and these people are really starving ... your next door neighbor is a billionaire. You can't kill him in order to feed those people. You would be committing an evil act. To kill him to get his money to feed those people.

[Editor's note: This answer continued after a commercial break.]

... I'll give you another example. Let's say your friend in school gets pregnant and she decides that she wants to have an abortion. If you say alright, I don't think you should do it but I'll drive you down to the abortion clinic. That's a material cooperation with evil. You are actually materially participating in her decision to destroy her unborn child. So that would be a serious sin on your part. And there are varying degrees on this ...

You can have something that's very close, proximate cooperation. You've got something that's very remote. I'll give you an example of the latter. Chances are most people ... would have a credit card ... let's just say it's a major credit card that happens to fund a pro-abortion organization like Planned Parenthood for example. Well that is a form of cooperating with evil, but it's so remote, you're not using your credit card to support abortion, ... But yet you're putting gas in your car or buying groceries ... the remoteness of it means that you are not guilty of a sin ..."


Catholic Answers, "Open Forum" (San Diego: Catholic Answers, 2013)

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Show air date: August 6, 2013

Name of show: Open Forum

Guest comments by: Patrick Madrid

Question appeared in show: 23:55

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