CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 20 October 2018

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Appeal for pro-life vote

MANILA (SE): The Church in The Philippines has issued an all-out call to people to vote pro-life in the upcoming May 9 election.

In a strong letter dated March 31, the president of the bishops’ conference, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, says that it is a grave sin to vote for a candidate who opposes the Lord’s teachings on the sacredness of human life from conception to natural death.

He specifically warns people to check out candidate’s platforms and track records on the issues of the return of the death penalty, euthanasia and extra judicial murder.

In an election with one presidential candidate promising to murder 100,000 people and dump their bodies in Manila Bay the warning would seem to be particularly pertinent.

Archbishop Villegas also notes that mutilation, physical and mental torture, as well as placing undue psychological pressure on people are also sins against the fifth commandment.

This is also a pertinent warning in a country where torture and extrajudicial murder are commonly used tactics by both the police and the military.

Although stated policy and practice of politicians can be a long way apart, most candidates are known in their local areas and people are aware of their track record on matters concerned with the sacredness of life.

Archbishop Villegas says that people should ask themselves, “Has this candidate been involved in these acts which are the ways of authoritarian regimes?”

However, the most difficult one is abortion. Murder, extra-judicial killing, torture are at least not on the law book in The Philippines, and the archbishop appeals to people to keep abortion off it as well.

Serious Catholic politicians in the United States of America and other western countries have often noted that if the Church is to fight abortion, the congress is not the place where it is going to succeed.

Nevertheless, avoiding candidates that want to promote abortion as an election platform is a positive way to use your vote.

 

While few candidates campaign on single issue platforms and most present a package of sweeteners that may or may not be delivered, few put forward a vision of working with local people in order to create a better society.

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