Friday, October 26, 2007

U.S. Bishops Prepare Document on Politics

ZE07102505 - 2007-10-25

U.S. Bishops Prepare Document on Politics

Statement to Urge Catholics to Participate in Civil Life

WASHINGTON, D.C., OCT. 25, 2007 ( The U.S. bishops will offer an updated statement on faith and politics after their general meeting next month, ahead of the 2008 election year.

The proposed statement focuses on the bishops' role in helping to form consciences in political life.

"In this statement, we bishops do not intend to tell Catholics for whom or against whom to vote," the draft states. "Our purpose is to help Catholics form their consciences in accordance with God's truth. We recognize that the responsibility to make choices in political life rests with each individual in light of a properly formed conscience, and that participation goes well beyond casting a vote in a particular election."

Statements on political life have been released by the bishops every four years for about three decades.

The draft to be discussed in November explains the necessity of opposing actions that are intrinsically wrong, such as abortion and euthanasia, and affirms the obligation to promote the common good by combating such threats to human life and dignity as hunger, poverty, racism, unjust immigration policies and unjust war.

The proposed draft also urges Catholics "to become more involved: running for office, working within political parties and communicating concerns to elected officials." It suggests that Catholics should be "guided more by our moral convictions than by our attachment to a political party or interest group."

The document says "Catholic voters should use Catholic teaching to examine candidates' positions on issues and should consider candidates' integrity, philosophy, and performance."

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