Bishop Estevez urges his flock “to take your Catholic beliefs, values and consciences into the voting booth with you”
By Dave Andrusko
Two days ago we wrote about the eloquent, column written by Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois for the Catholic Times diocesan paper, in which he counseled Catholics to “think and pray very carefully” about their votes in the upcoming election.
Two hours ago, a fellow National Right to Life staffer alerted me to a powerful letter sent to the Catholics of the diocese of St. Augustine, Florida, by Bishop Felipe J. Estevez. I quickly found it online and was duly impressed.
He begins with an important admonition for all of us: if we haven’t registered to vote already, do so. “As Catholic Christians we have always believed that voting and participating in our community is not just a privilege but also a responsibility,” a conclusion that applies to all Americans of voting age.
Like Bishop Paprocki, Bishop Estevez explains that “I would not tell you how to vote or who to vote for,” but immediately adds, “it is my responsibility to remind you that, for us Catholics, some issues are simply never morally acceptable.” Those include
“The taking of an innocent human life, whether inside the womb or not, and up until natural death, is always and everywhere intrinsically evil. Such issues as embryonic stem cell research and attempts at human cloning are also direct attacks against the dignity and uniqueness of human life made in the image of God.”
Bishop Estevez then brilliantly summarizes the parameters:
“As Catholics we must first consider the various candidates and party platforms in light of those immutable issues I have mentioned above. Then, in good conscience, we must give preference to the candidate who does not oppose our God given moral principles.”
His conclusion is sound advice for Catholics and non-Catholics alike:
“Once again, I ask you to vote on Nov. 6 and to keep in mind those biblical and Catholic moral principles which cannot be compromised. Let us preserve a climate of civility in dealing with all citizens. In the meantime, let us intensify our life of prayer, and let us fast and repent for the sake of our beloved country’s future.”
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