Tuesday 2 June 2009
Cardinal O'Brien urges voters to participate in European elections
In a message addressed to Catholic voters ahead of Thursday's European elections, Cardinal Keith O'Brien has urged participation and involvement. In a call to get involved in politics he says;
"It is also a time to consider our own personal contribution to the political life of our nation and Europe, considering whether we are able to give a greater contribution to the renewal of politics by becoming more involved and in the process reversing the loss of Christian influence which made possible the growth and prosperity of Europe in the first place."
The full text is shown below:
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The European Elections - Use Your Vote Wisely
Message from Cardinal Keith O Brien to Catholic voters
The recent scandals in politics and the collapse of our financial institutions have rocked the confidence of many of our citizens. Our expectation that political leaders can provide hope and certainty in facing the difficulties of modern society has been badly shaken.
Rarely has the reputation of political authorities been so low. In recent years we have witnessed with great alarm a corrosive trend in our own community of rejecting the values that have been the bedrock of European civilisation. In particular the innate dignity of every human life and the special place of the family have been systematically undermined. Politics has become for many an exercise in power to benefit the whims of social elites with values far removed from the interests of the average person in the street.
The words of Pope John Paul II are more pertinent than ever:
Europe is presently witnessing the grave phenomenon of family crises and the weakening of the very concept of the family, as well as a growing overall lack of concern for ethics and an obsessive concern for personal interests and privileges.
It is against this backdrop that we now face the European Elections, which will be held on Thursday 4th June. These elections represent a challenge to each and every voter. We must not give in to disillusionment or apathy. In fact we need to recall that to serve in political life is a noble vocation. In European politics today, Christian witness is needed more than ever.
At this election I urge everyone to use their vote and to do so wisely to ensure that we elect politicians who are committed to the fundamental values necessary to renew Europe. It is also a time to consider our own personal participation in the political life of our nation and Europe, considering whether we are able to give a greater contribution to the renewal of politics by becoming more involved and in the process reversing the loss of Christian influence which made possible the growth and prosperity of Europe in the first place.
The European elections give us the opportunity to elect politicians who are capable of serving the interests of our nations and acting with the wisdom of faith. As society becomes acutely aware that moral development must accompany technological progress. We need leaders who are eager to serve, to build up our families and our communities in accordance with firm ethical foundations and moral standards.