Voting And Election Responsibility For Catholics
Printable One-page flyer for parishes: parishes can print this flyer and insert it into parish bulletins. Please click here for a pdf version.
While we are free to join any political party that we choose or none at all, we must be cautious when we vote so that we are not guided solely by party loyalty or by self-interest. Rather, we should be guided in evaluating the important issues facing us by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the teachings of His Church.
Our national and provincial elected officials have profound influence on countless matters of great importance, such as the right to life, issues of war and peace, the education of children, and how we treat the poor and vulnerable. We must look at all of these issues as we form our consciences in preparation for Election Day.
Unfortunately, it is the rare candidate who will agree with the Church on every issue. But not every issue is of equal moral gravity. The inalienable right to life of every innocent human person outweighs other concerns.
Catholics may use prudential judgment in other areas, such as how best to meet the needs of the poor or to increase access to health care for all. The right to life is the right through which all others flow. To the extent candidates reject this fundamental right by supporting an objective evil, such as legal abortion, euthanasia or embryonic stem cell research, Catholics should consider them less acceptable for public office. As faithful citizenship teaches, “Those who knowingly, willingly, and directly support public policies or legislation that undermine fundamental moral principles cooperate with evil”.
These are complex times, so our task is not light. It is often difficult to get a good grasp on the positions of those running for office so the task of doing due diligence can be truly challenging.
Yet our society is facing many critical issues which are of vital concern to faithful Catholics. Thus it is absolutely necessary for good citizens to take a careful look at every candidate and to vote accordingly for the better candidates.
Restrictions on abortion and euthanasia, parental rights in education, and programs to serve the poor are vital issues of concern. We set forth below potential questions for candidates on a variety of “life issues”, and we urge you to learn where all the candidates for every office stand on each issue. Our hope is that this short list serves as a valuable tool in forming your consciences as you make your decisions in the voting booth as faithful Catholic citizens.
While we at Priests for Life Canada cannot and do not endorse candidates for office, we encourage you to properly form your conscience by reflecting on the moral and social teachings of our Church, and we strongly urge you to vote on Election Day, for when you vote, you are exercising your cherished right as citizens and as Catholics.
Important Questions to Ask Political Candidates
- Do you agree with the need to introduce legislation that will protect the life of the unborn child from abortion?
- Will you actively work to introduce legislation that will protect the life of the unborn child from abortion?
- Do you oppose using taxpayer money to fund abortions?
- Will you actively work to remove abortion as a “paid” service from the existing provincial health plans?
- Do you support a ban on legalized euthanasia and/or physician-assisted suicide?
- Do you oppose government funding for human embryonic stem cell research?
To find contact information for Federal candidates, see: www.elections.ca
To find contact information for Provincial candidates, Google: Elections + (your province)
OTHER ELECTION RESOURCES
Listen to Pat O’Brien, a seasoned former Member of Parliament recently interviewed by Priests for Life Canada on The Pro-Life Hour (February, 2011).
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB): 2015 Federal Election Guide(PDF): Read and distribute this recent document from the Canadian Bishops regarding voting rights and responsibilities for Catholics.
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada: Citizenship and Elections: including a complete election kit for voters, charities, and churches.
Catholic Civil Rights League: Federal election: Synopsis of League issues: from a national lay Catholic organization committed to combating anti-Catholic defamation, working with the media to secure a fair hearing for Catholic positions on issues of public debate.
Campaign Life Coalition: Please refer to this website for up-to-date information on party and candidate positions on life issues. www.campaignlifecoalition.com
While we at Priests for Life Canada cannot and do not endorse parties or candidates for office, we encourage you to properly form your conscience by reflecting on the moral and social teachings of our Church.
CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH: Doctrinal note on some questions regarding The Participation of Catholics in Political Life.
Elections Canada: www.elections.ca
Bloc Québécois: www.blocquebecois.org
Christian Heritage Party of Canada: www.chp.ca
Conservative Party of Canada: www.conservative.ca
Green Party of Canada: www.greenparty.ca
Liberal Party of Canada: www.liberal.ca
New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP): www.ndp.ca