Saturday, April 23, 2011

CCCB publishes Guidelines for the 2011 Election

The CCCB has published on its site guidelines on how to decide for whom you should vote.
" the Commission lists some basic principles from Catholic moral and social teaching to help voters analyse and evaluate public policies and programs."

It begins by stating very clearly that voiting in elections is not only a right but a duty of all Catholic Canadians.

From the Guidelines

The Church encourages and reasserts its belief in “the political freedom and responsibility of citizens.”1 By exercising their right to vote, citizens fulfill their duty of choosing a government and at the same time send a clear signal to the candidates being presented by the political parties.

Political candidates are citizens too. In addition, they assume responsibility for the well being of the public. Their commitment and dedication are a generous contribution to society’s common good. Indeed, the purpose of the political community is the common good.2 What is the common good? It is “the sum of those conditions of … social life whereby people, families and associations more adequately and readily may attain their own perfection.”3


The Guidelines list examples of Catholic Moral teaching,not as a platform but a glass to help analyze party platforms. They include:

1. Respect for life and human dignity: from conception to natural death
2. Building a more just society
3. The person and the family
4. Canada in the world: providing leadership for justice and peace
5. A healthy country in a healthy environment

For each of these fields you are asked to see where the Party stands on these issues, and where the individual candidate stands on these issues.

Cast your vote for that candidate you believe best encompasses what is

The Guidelines end with this:
Voting means using your judgmentExercising the right to vote means making enlightened and well-thought-out judgments about the choices available. There are times, however, when these choices may prove very difficult. The Church reminds us that “in this context, it must be noted also that a well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law in which the fundamental content of faith and morals is replaced by the introduction of proposals differing from this content or opposing it.”4
It is a sign of a healthy community when informed and responsible citizens engage in an ongoing dialogue on major social issues with their political leaders. This is precisely the kind of community we should strive to support and develop.5 No less is expected of us, since we are all called to be truly responsible for one another.

(Dated)25 March 2011
Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
The Most Reverend Brendan M. O’Brien, Chairman
The Most Reverend François Lapierre, P.M.É.
The Most Reverend David Motiuk
The Most Reverend Valéry Vienneau

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Scripture to keep in mind

Six things there are, which the Lord hateth, and the seventh his soul detesteth: [17] Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, [18] A heart that deviseth wicked plots, feet that are swift to run into mischief, [19]A deceitful witness that uttereth lies, and him that soweth discord among brethren. [20] My son, keep the commandments of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother. ***Cf:Douay-Rheims Proverbs 6: 16-20

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