Bishop Thomas Wenski Says Defend Life and Marriage: There Can Be No other Legitimate Catholic Position
in the Archdiocese of Miami. He also directed that it be read this past Sunday in every parish.
The Archbishop of Miami knows that it is his duty to instruct the faithful on the major moral issues of our age. The letter, entitled "Vote as faith-filled, faithful citizens" is a model for how such letters should be drafted. Its placement in every bulletin and mandatory reading at every Mass was exactly what is needed in every Diocese and every parish in the nation.
This letter should be downloaded by everyone reading this article and circulated widely. Here is a link to the downloadable and printable PDF version. The letter is presented below:
Dear faithful in Christ:
As we approach a very important general election, I remind those of you who are citizens of this great nation and eligible to vote that voting is not only your right; it is your duty, As scriptures teach us, we are our brother's keeper, and voting responsibly is one way to promote the common good of our brethren in society.
The welfare and future of our nation's communities depend on the people we entrust with public responsibilities. No bishop or priest will tell you for whom to vote - however, as your pastors we do legitimately try to guide our people through the maze of complex moral issues that underline the public policy positions espoused by the different candidates and their party platforms.
For this reason, we make available to you the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops Questionnaire which details where candidates stand on important issues that may come before them. At the same time, while we are not taking a position on the other amendment initiatives, we strongly urge you to support both amendment 6 (Yes) which will enable the legislature to restore rights of parents and prohibit public funding of abortion, and amendment 8 (yes) on Religious Liberty that would protect faith-based groups' freedom to serve in our State. Besides what is available through your parish bulletin, additional information can be accessed on both the Archdiocese of Miami's website, and the Forida Catholic Conference website.
While some may resent this particular exercise of our teaching ministry, I would hope that most Catholics of good will welcome these interventions. All of us need help in making difficult decisions. As Catholics we have good counsel in our Church teachings on our civic responsibility to pursue the common good, as well as in prayer. These are important elements that help one arrive at the best prudential decision.
Our system of checks and balances built into our governing structures by our founding fathers reflected an understanding of the human person founded in our Judeo-Christian tradition.
And whether as citizens or as elected officials, if we are to be faithful to the truth about the human person, we must oppose uncompromisingly policies and laws that undermine the common good precisely because they originate in a defective understanding of the human person.
For this reason, the Church -clergy and laity- while agreeing to disagree on other matters of prudential judgment cannot but oppose the evils of abortion, euthanasia, fetal stem cell research, human cloning and so called same sex "marriage." In these areas, there can be no other legitimate Catholic position.
Beyond these fundamental issues, and closely related to them, is the issue of religious liberty which must be defended from current attempts to undermine it by limiting people of faith's freedom to serve in ways congruent to their faith and morals.
As Catholics, we best contribute to our democratic process by voting as faith filled and faithful citizens; that is, in a way coherent to our Catholic beliefs and teachings. Whether you can vote or not, I ask you to pray; and if you are eligible to vote, then I ask you to do so with an informed conscience.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Thomas Wenski
Archbishop of Miami
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Life, Right to life, Marriage, family, defense of marriage, religious liberty, Archbishop Thomas Wenski, Archdiocese of Miami, Pro-Liofe, Pro-Marriage, Religious Freedom, faithful citizens, voting, campaign 2012, Deacon Keith Fournier
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