(CCCB – Ottawa)… With a federal election campaign underway, the Social Affairs Commission of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has issued a guide inviting Catholics to vote but to do so with discernment.
In its “Federal Election 2008 Guide”, the Commission “encourages Catholics to become better informed about the issues, to voice their concerns with the political candidates … and, most of all, to vote.” The four-page text goes on to list some basic principles from Catholic moral and social teaching to help voters examine and evaluate public policy and programs.
These principles include respect for life and the dignity of the human person, as well as the preferential option for the poor. The text also addresses the question of the war in Afghanistan and the debate on the environment. The four Bishops who signed the document call on the political parties to “engage in a peace process for Afghanistan” and to ensure that “future generations … can have a healthy environment.”
The Social Affairs Commission admits that “choices can be tough” for Catholics when a political candidate or a political party holds “values that are not fully in line with Church teaching.” Citing the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the CCCB Social Affairs Commission points out that “a well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals.”
PDF Version: Federal Election 2008 Guide