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Voting Guide for Catholics
A group of Catholic clergy has produced the FIRST FREE NON-PARTISAN VOTING GUIDE FOR CATHOLICS MOBILE APP for handheld devices (iPhones, iPods, iPads, Android & Windows Smartphones). The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy is a national association of more than 500 priests and deacons in the USA with fellow confraternities in Australia and Great Britain. As local pastors, they consider responsible citizenship a high priority among their flock. With Election Day soon approaching, it is imperative that the lay faithful take their right to vote seriously. Living in a democratic republic has many blessings, rights and privileges that are essentially connected to civic duties and obligations. Making a prudent decision in the voting booth requires a well formed conscience and a reasonable knowledge of the issues at stake. Six vital concerns are specifically highlighted:
RIGHT TO LIFE
RELIGIOUS LIBERTY (and Freedom of Religion)
SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE
ACCESS TO NECESSARY GOODS
This Voting Guide is totally non-partisan. It neither favors nor disavows any political party or candidate. What it does is present Gospel values and moral principles of the Natural Moral Law to enable the Catholic voter to evaluate any candidate, issue or pending legislation. The clergy’s job is not to tell people who to vote for, rather, it is their obligation and sacred duty to teach them how to vote properly, i.e., responsibly and conscientiously.
The app will be very useful November 6th for the presidential election but it is not limited to just that. The same universal moral principles can and ought to be applied in every presidential, senatorial, congressional and gubernatorial election and primary. These ethical values transcend political party and are always applicable. The goal of this mobile handheld device application is to provide CLARITY, ACCURACY, BREVITY and URGENCY to the voter as he or she ponders their choice before casting a ballot.
Pope Benedict XVI has urged clergy to prepare for the New Evangelization by using the best of modern technology. A mobile app makes complete sense since millions of Americans use their handheld device not just to make and receive phone calls, but to schedule appointments, text message, surf the Net, browse the Web, Facebook, Twitter, blog and of course, email. Many use them as their primary source for news and current events. Now, clergy can help their parishioners KNOW the pertinent issues and KNOW the moral principles which apply in these activities in order to make a PRUDENT decision on Election Day.
The Right to Life is the foundation of all other human rights. Protecting and defending innocent human life is the duty and obligation of every civil society and government. Second in importance are Religious Liberty and Freedom of Religion. The Right to Life and Religious Liberty are the two most sacred inalienable rights human beings possess from their Creator and no state or federal government can take it away. Voters must take into consideration politicians’ positions on life and liberty and not just presume their own personal stand is sufficient.
From these rights flow others, such as private property and the right to access to necessary goods. Marriage is one of the natural estates of humanity and it is the keystone to Family, Church (religion) and State (government). As such, it is not subject to redefinition or reinvention. Finally, responsible citizens have the obligation to hold elected officials accountable for their stewardship of the nation’s treasure, not just the economy but more so the invaluable worth of its citizens by defending them (national security) and protecting and helping those who are the most vulnerable. The Just War Doctrine must also be the norm and not merely an ideal.
The CCC hopes this app will be used by Catholics for every election and to keep up to date on pending legislation which could impact our most cherished values.
Fr. John Trigilio, Jr.
President, Confraternity of Catholic Clergy