29 October 2010

Pope to Bishops, Remind Laity It Is Their Duty to Vote for the Common Good

The following comments are from the Pope's message to the Bishops of Brazil.

Bishops must guide their faithful to use their vote to oppose efforts to legalize abortion and euthanasia, Pope Benedict XVI told bishops from Brazil.

“Dear brother bishops, to defend life we must not fear hostility or unpopularity, and we must refuse any compromise or ambiguity which might conform us to the world’s way of thinking,” the pope said Oct. 28 during a meeting with bishops from northeast Brazil.

… Pope Benedict told the Brazilian bishops that while direct involvement in politics is the responsibility of the laity [that's where the Catholic Vote comes in!], “when the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls requires it, pastors have a serious duty to make moral judgments even in political matters [there is no "space" that is free from our obligations as Christians - not even the voting booth].”

… While some may claim they support abortion or euthanasia to defend the weak and the poor, “who is more helpless than an unborn child or a patient in a vegetative or terminal state?” he said.

“When political positions openly or covertly include plans to decriminalize abortion and euthanasia, the democratic ideal – which is truly democratic only when it acknowledges and safeguards the dignity of every human person — is betrayed at its foundations,” Pope Benedict told the bishops.

Concluding message:

Bishops and priests have an obligation to help Catholic laity live in a way that that is faithful to the Gospel in every aspect of their lives, including their political choices, he said. “This also means that in certain cases, pastors should remind all citizens of their right and duty to use their vote to promote the common good,” the pope said.

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