Saturday, September 20, 2008

What Canadians Need to Consider Before Voting

Bishops Offer Guide on Key Issues

OTTAWA, Ontario, SEPT. 18, 2008 ( The defense of human life from conception until natural death and finding peace in Afghanistan are among the issues Canadian bishops are urging Catholics to take into account when voting in October.

The Episcopal Commission for Social Affairs of the Canadian bishops' conference released a four-page guide offering principles for Catholics to consider when they vote for Members of Parliament next month.

The bishops urge Catholics to "vote with discernment," to be better informed on the issues, and to make their voices heard by the candidates.

"[A] well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals," they affirmed.
The guide highlights four important issues to be kept in mind by Canadian voters: in the first place, respect for life and persons' dignity, as well as the preferential option for the poor.

The text also includes reflections on the war in Afghanistan, as Canada has troops there. Finally, the bishops urge consideration of the need for greater concern regarding the environment.

Speaking out

On another front, Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, archbishop of Montreal, is also speaking out regarding human dignity. He announced that he will return the Medal of the Order of Canada, which he received from the Canadian Parliament in 1996, as a sign of protest that the same medal was granted this year to abortionist Dr. Henry Morgentaler.

"To date, I thought the Order of Canada was granted to persons whose works had an ample consensus," the cardinal to explained Vatican Radio.

Cardinal Turcotte added that with this gesture, he had hoped the Canadian government would review its decision to recognize Morgentaler.

"This has not happened," the cardinal lamented, "and, given that my silence could be misinterpreted, my conscience obliges me to reaffirm my convictions on respect for life from the moment of conception."

Cardinal Turcotte is the third person to return the award as a sign of protest. Father Lucine Larre and Gilbert Finn, former lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick, took the same measure.

Although the cardinal said that his gesture must not be interpreted in an electoral key, he does hope that it "will help Catholics understand the importance of the defense of life."

Morgentaler, a Jew who survived the Holocaust and was a renown pro-abortion doctor of the 70s, succeeded in 1988 at having the Supreme Court abolish all legal limitations to abortion in the country.

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On the Net: Federal Election 2008 Guide:

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