A Vote for the Common Good: Catholic Bishops’ Federal Election Statement
Catholics are being urged to engage in the political process in the lead-up to this year’s Federal Election and to vote for the common good.
On 3 July 2013, Australia’s Catholic bishops wrote to more than 1300 parishes across Australia to ask them to consider the bishops’ A Vote for the Common Good election statement.
”As bishops we want to focus your attention on some key issues of vital concern to the Australian community,” the statement says.
“We encourage Catholics to look beyond their own individual needs to apply a different test at the ballot box – the test of what we call the common good.
“The good of the individual and the good of society as a whole must be brought together in harmony. When they are, we have the common good.”
Archbishop Philip Wilson, Vice President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, said the Bishops were aware of the turbulent political situation and saw the importance of outlining some key areas which might inform consciences, while leaving it to voters to make their final decision.
“The principles of social teaching cross party political boundaries and Catholics may, in good conscience, form different opinions on the candidates and parties standing for election,” he said.
“As Catholics, we need to take our democratic freedoms seriously and become involved in the political process.”
Focussing on principles of Catholic Social Teaching, the Bishops outline a range of issues including positions on the poor and vulnerable, marriage and family, life, child protection, migrants and refugees, Indigenous Australians, education, health, ecology and sustainability and peace and development.
“The statement draws on our rich tradition of social teaching and upon the Church’s long experience of serving all people without distinction through our work in a broad range of areas including healthcare, education and social services,” Archbishop Wilson said.
The statement is available for download from http://www.catholicsvote2013.org.au/ and as a PDF and in eBook format.On the website is a short video that can be used in parishes and schools, where appropriate.
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