Thursday 22 April 2010
Catholic Bishops issue election message.
Scotland's Catholic Bishops have released the text of a pre-election statement which will be made available to all of Scotland's 500 Catholic parishes.
The statement titled " Make your faith count!" urges Catholic voters to
"think carefully before you cast your vote" and ask "Which candidate will best respect and protect your religious freedom and your freedom of conscience?"
Commenting on the document, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, President of the Bishops' Conference said;
"It is crucially important that apathy is not allowed to win in this election, I hope Catholic voters will make the cross count by quizzing their candidates on the important moral matters which affect us and that they use the resources which the Bishops' Conference has provided to inform themselves on as wide a range of issues as possible."
The full text of the statement is shown below.
Catholic Media Office
5 St. Vincent Place
0141 221 1168
Note to editors:
1. The Catholic Parliamentary Office has also circulated a candidate questionnaire to all Scottish candidates, asking them their views on the 5 issues listed below:
(1.) Rights of the Unborn
Human life from the moment of fertilisation is precious and cannot be subject to destructive manipulation or termination.
The unique relationship of man and woman united in marriage is the foundation of family life. Laws which obscure this reality or propose alternative relationships as equivalent to marriage cannot be supported.
Ensuring material, educational, cultural and spiritual wellbeing of all peoples of the world must be the underpinning principle upon which all economic activity is based.
(4.) Religious Freedom
Equality laws must protect the dignity of all persons and must ensure that the right to follow conscience is upheld and that people should not be forced to act contrary to their religious beliefs, within the bounds of public order.
(5.) Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia
Every life is of intrinsic worth regardless of health or capabilities and it is always wrong to provide or administer means intending to kill or intending to hasten death.
Candidates are asked to choose one of the following answers to each question;
Neither agree nor disagree
2. The Catholic Parliamentary Office has also created a new website - www.catholicvotersguide.org where responses to the candidate questionnaire will be posted and other resources will be available.
3. An MP3 audio file of Cardinal O'Brien commenting on the election statement is available on request from the Catholic Media Office
The Catholic Bishops Conference of Scotland
Pastoral Message on the Eve of the General Election 2010
Make your faith count!
A general election has been called. The message the Bishops Conference of Scotland sends you is this: Make your faith count!
The political choices we face today are not the choices your parents and grandparents faced. They would never have voted for any candidate who refused to protect unborn human life, who supported experimentation on human embryos, or planned to assist unfortunate people to commit suicide. They would never have voted for a candidate who would undermine marriage and family in the way that has happened in recent years with cross-party support. They would never have voted for candidates who rejoiced in same sex unions. They would never have voted for candidates who would stop the Church offering adoption services. They would never have voted for candidates who were clearly hostile to the values they held dear. Your parents and grandparents voted for those they believed shared the same fundamental Christian values as they did. It is for us to do likewise to shape a society where the dignity of each individual and life itself is respected.
As Catholics we know the importance of protecting every human life and of the value that married family life gives to society. These values were once widely shared but times have changed. Many of those standing for election, of whatever party, do not share our basic principles and values. That is why we say to you: when you vote, make your faith count. Vote with your faith to protect human life; to support marriage and the family; to protect religious freedom; to protect Catholic education. Vote with your faith, and uphold the right of conscience and religious freedom.
In urging you to let your faith count at the ballot box, we ask you to think carefully before you cast your vote. Which candidate displays values closest to yours? Which candidate will best respect and protect your religious freedom and your freedom of conscience? Which candidate do you trust most to do a good job for you and your community?
As your bishops, it is not our intention to tell you which party to vote for. It is our duty to encourage you to engage with the political process and to vote for the candidate who best represents the values we, like our parents and grandparents before us, hold dear.
Further election information can be found at www.catholicvotersguide.org