“Like many of you, I lament the current climate of division, and the mean spiritedness and intolerance of some toward those who do not agree with candidates and positions that do not fit their worldview,” Bishop Murphy begins. “If you think you are confused and slightly battered by the noise, public protests and private misgivings, you have every reason to be so.”
But we must be responsible citizens and faithful men and women of God by exercising our right to vote in a serious and well-informed manner, he continues.
As believers in God who know Him to be our Creator who is intimately present in all things – including our world, human life, our communities and elections, we must heed the advice of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI who said, “Those who deny God can lead us only in a direction that ultimately is destructive.”
“The human person, made in the image and likeness of God, is the ultimate measure of what is good or bad, right or wrong. Every person is sacred and has inherent rights which political leaders must protect and serve. Those who do not are unworthy of our vote. Those who contradict themselves by saying one thing and doing another are unworthy of our vote,” Bishop Murphy writes.
Even though there are many important issues in our society today, none of them can eclipse the centrality of human life.
“Above all and over all, the number one issue more fundamental and crucial than any other is abortion – that is the direct taking of innocent life, which is financed by government funds -- the diversion of our tax dollars to abortionists like Planned Parenthood as well as government insistence that we Catholics like the Little Sisters of the Poor, violate our consciences to advance such programs.”
He goes on to lament those politicians who are Catholics but insist upon using “the fallacious and deeply offensive ‘personally opposed but . . . line” which Bishop Murphy believes is “reason sufficient unto itself to disqualify any and every such candidate from receiving our vote.”
The bishop concludes his letter by posing three questions for potential voters to reflect upon as they examine their conscience and prepare to vote:
1. Do you think our country is going in the right direction or the wrong direction? I believe it is heading in the wrong direction. If I am right, then,
2. Of the two candidates running for President, and of all the candidates running for elective office, whether federal, state or local, which ones will continue to lead us in the current direction or which are more likely to restore justice in those areas that cry out for such a restoration?
3. Which ones are willing to lead us in a direction that is more pro life, more pro family and more pro truth? Which ones will recognize and respect the role of religion in the lives of citizens and the Church’s right to mediate the truths of the Gospel and the Church’s teaching as part of the public life of our country, in public ministries like health care, education and charitable works, without being forced to adopt and facilitate those cultural practices that are not consonant with Church teaching?
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