21-October-2012 -- EWTNews Feature |

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Miami Catholics Urged To Vote With Informed Consciences

As the Nov. 6 presidential election approaches, Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami has written a letter to his flock asking them to vote as "faith filled and faithful citizens."

"Whether we are talking about candidates or constitutional amendments, the issues of life and liberty are premier concerns in Florida," said Michele Taylor, associate communications director for the Florida Catholic Conference, in an Oct. 18 interview with EWTN News.

"The Bishops of Florida have encouraged Catholics to speak with their votes by choosing candidates who oppose intrinsic evils, such as abortion and euthanasia, and who support our right to freedom of religion that is being threatened more now than any time in recent history," Taylor reported. Archbishop Wenski's letter said that "as Catholics, we best contribute to our democratic process ... in a way coherent to our Catholic beliefs and teachings. Whether you can vote or not, I ask you to pray; and if you are eligible to vote, then I ask you to do so with an informed conscience." The letter was published in all parish bulletins of the archdiocese last weekend.

While not telling Catholics for whom to vote, Archbishop Wenski sought to exercise his teaching ministry to guide his flock "through the maze of complex moral issues" underlining the policy decisions of various candidates and parties.

"As Catholics we have good counsel in our Church teachings on our civic responsibility to pursue the common good, as well as in prayer. These are important elements that help one arrive at the best prudential decision." He referred readers to a "Candidate Questionnaire" put out by Florida's bishops' conference, which "details where candidates stand on important issues that may come before them."

He urged voters to vote yes on two ballot initiatives coming before Florida citizens in November, Amendments 6 and 8.

Amendment 6 will "enable the legislature to restore rights of parents and prohibit public funding of abortion" and Amendment 8 will protect the religious freedom of faith-based groups which help the needy in the state. Archbishop Wenski said in his letter that while some issues are ones of prudential judgment about which Catholics can disagree, opposition to intrinsic evils is the only "legitimate Catholic position."

He linked those issues to the protection and preservation of religious freedom, in particular the freedom of persons to serve the common good "in ways congruent to their faith and morals."

The Archdiocese of Miami, Catholic Health Services, and Catholic Hospice filed a lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services on Oct. 19, citing breaches of their First Amendment rights, as well as technical violations of the department's rule making authority.

Read more: http://www.ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/US.php?id=6382#ixzz2A8bibybu

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