4-January-2013 -- EWTNews Feature |

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Bishops say Gospel should inform voters in Ecuador's election

As the country's presidential elections on Feb. 17 approach, bishops in Ecuador have asked Catholics to evaluate candidates in light of the Gospel and vote for proposals in favor of life and religious freedom.

"The Catholic lay faithful, whether or not they belong to a political party or movement, have the moral obligation to discern" whether a particular candidate's proposals are "compatible with the faith and morality of the Christian life," the bishops said.

The prelates stressed that they have the right and the duty to make statements about the social and political life of the country "based on the Gospel and the Church's social doctrine and to proclaim the values of the Kingdom of God: life, liberty, justice, solidarity and peace."

"We recognize and respect the legitimate autonomy of the political order. It is not our place to express political preferences, but rather to evaluate political policies for their implications and ethical and religious consequences," they said.

The bishops also underscored the importance of the separation of powers. "Democracy demands a legal framework and the strict division and independence of the three roles of government, that is, the executive, the legislative and the judicial."

"These roles should be performed with autonomy and mutual respect," the bishops explained.

They also urged the candidates to refrain from personal attacks and to focus on presenting their different platforms so that voters can make a free and informed choice.

"The exercising of the right to vote is an important tool for ensuring authentic democracy," the bishops added.

"In exercising this right and duty, citizens are called to withhold support for political and legislative positions that are contrary to fundamental values and ethical principles."

Read more: http://www.ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/Americas.php?id=6788#ixzz2H2OTjz5m

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