Catholics are being urged to engage in the political process in the lead up to the coming federal election and to vote for the common good.
This week Australia’s Catholic bishops have written to the more than 1300 parishes across Australia to ask them to consider the bishops’ Vote for the Common Good election statement. The statement is available today for parishes and the general public at www.catholicsvote2013.org.au
“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 today that aware of the turbulent political situation, the Bishops 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.”
“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 health care, education and social services”, he said.
The statement is available for download from www.catholicsvote2013.org.au as a PDF as well as in eBook format. A short video is available also on the website which can be used in parishes and schools where appropriate.
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