Catholics have duty to know where candidates stand on life: US bishop on election
DENVER, Colorado, October 1, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — American Catholics are obliged to find out their candidates’ stand on abortion, assisted suicide, marriage, family, and religious freedom, and to “vote accordingly” on November 3, says Denver’s Archbishop Samuel Aquila.
“Essential for every Catholic to fulfill his or her duty as a citizen is knowing where candidates stand on the issues of life, family and religious freedom,” Aquila wrote this week in the National Catholic Register.
“It is not possible to be a Catholic in good standing and support abortion or assisted suicide, to promote unnatural sexuality, or to seek to push people of faith out of the public square.”
American Catholics cannot be indifferent to the rise of immorality, anti-Catholicism, and “cancel culture” in their nation, the archbishop warned.
“The morals of society will impact us, and we cannot turn a blind eye to evil.”
And with a national election rapidly approaching, “now is the time for us to stand up for the place of full-throated Catholic belief in public life and the valuable contributions of people of faith to society,” said Aquila.
The insight of America’s founders “that our self-government relies on a virtuous people” is underscored by the “increase in intolerance and violence we see today,” he pointed out.
“A society that has no common belief in God, and therefore in each person’s identity as his beloved son or daughter, will become less human and less tolerant. When there is no God, something or someone becomes god to fill the void, leading to tragedy, and eventual societal collapse,” he said.
Indeed, the farther America moves away from the “virtuous and moral life,” the more the nation resembles Greece or Rome “before they fell” or today’s Venezuela.
“If we want our country to flourish, then out of charity for our fellow citizens and future generations, Catholics need to strongly advocate for the necessity of religious freedom and vote accordingly.”
Aquila noted that the “lashing out against the Church in the U.S.” has increased in intensity over the last years and in recent months has erupted in “physical violence against our symbols, church buildings and people.”
Anti-Catholicism has been ever-present in the United States, but it has “shifted from the 19th century discrimination and claims that we can’t be loyal citizens, to the recent assertions that Catholics are judgmental and hateful towards women and sexual minorities,” he said.
“However, the goal of these attacks is the same: to shame and sideline Catholics within society and to increase the influence of those who do not accept God’s design for human nature,” Aquila asserted.
“For the sake of our Church and our society, we must respond by defending the right to religious freedom, both when we vote and through our own personal witness.”