The Most Reverend Felipe J. Estévez, the Bishop of St. Augustine, Florida, is out with a new column about the issues that matter most for Catholic voters, and he makes it clear pro-life values on abortion are the number one priority.
As Catholic Christians we have always believed that voting and participating in our community is not just a privilege but also a responsibility. We are called by Christ to be salt and light to the world, and to infuse the culture around us with the values of our faith. And so I urge you to take your Catholic beliefs, values and consciences into the voting booth with you.
The taking of an innocent human life, whether inside the womb or not, and up until natural death, is always and everywhere intrinsically evil. Such issues as embryonic stem cell research and attempts at human cloning are also direct attacks against the dignity and uniqueness of human life made in the image of God. Finally, preserving the dignity of traditional marriage is of central importance and must never be undermined because marriage is a cornerstone of any stable society. Any attempts to re-define marriage as something other than between a man and a woman, should be vigorously opposed by a Catholic as contrary to reason, the natural law, and the divinely revealed truths of the Bible. Beyond these fundamental issues, and closely related to them is the issue of religious liberty – our ability as Catholics to live our lives publicly according to our faith and morals at all levels of society.
As Catholics we must first consider the various candidates and party platforms in light of those immutable issues I have mentioned above. Then, in good conscience, we must give preference to the candidate who does not oppose our God given moral principles.
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Estévez also endorses the ballot measure in Florida to stop taxpayer funding of abortions.
Finally, I want to bring to your attention two important State of Florida constitutional amendments on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. Amendment 6 would prohibit the spending of public tax dollars on abortion, or for health benefits which include abortion.
Once again, I ask you to vote on Nov. 6 and to keep in mind those biblical and Catholic moral principles which cannot be compromised. Let us preserve a climate of civility in dealing with all citizens. In the meantime, let us intensify our life of prayer, and let us fast and repent for the sake of our beloved country’s future.