GREEN BAY, Wis., October 29, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A statement from a Catholic bishop urging his flock to vote according to Catholic values received an unexpectedly wide audience this past weekend after it was featured on the wildly popular internet news portal, the Drudge Report.
The Bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin, David Ricken, issued the letter to parishioners over the weekend. The Drudge Report, which welcomes millions of visitors every day, then linked to an article from the Green Bay Press Gazette about the letter.
In the letter Bishop Ricken stated that the church has a responsibility to speak out regarding moral issues, especially on those issues that impact the “common good” and the “dignity of the human person.”
The bishop then highlighted “non-negotiable” issues that Catholics cannot vote in favor of. “These are areas that are intrinsically evil and cannot be supported by anyone who is a believer in God or the common good or the dignity of the human person,” he explained.
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The bishop identified abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, and homosexual “marriage” as among these non-negotiables.
Without naming names, the bishop stated that some candidates and one party have chosen to promote some of these issues as their party’s or their personal political platform.
“To vote for someone in favor of these positions means that you could be morally complicit with these choices which are intrinsically evil,” the bishop warned. “This could put your own soul in jeopardy.”
The other issue the bishop urged voters to keep in mind is the protection of religious liberty, which he pointed out has been attacked by the current administration.
“The recent aggressive moves by the government to impose the HHS mandate, especially the move to redefine religion so that religion is confined more and more to the four walls of the Church, is a dangerous precedent,” Bishop Ricken stated.
The bishop pointed out that the HHS birth control mandate will also place Catholic business owners in the unacceptable position of having to pay for medical “services” that violate Catholic moral teaching.
“This has never been the American way and now these moves and others by the present government, will significantly alter and marginalize the role of religious institutions in our society,” Bishop Ricken observed.
“It is precisely religion and the free exercise thereof which has made this country great in the past,” the bishop said, concluding with the hope that the faithful will “vote for good and moral leaders for this great country which will only remain great, if she continues to be and to do the good.”
Bishop Ricken’s letter, titled “An Important Moment,” and the US Bishops’ Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship resource materials, are available on the Diocese of Green Bay website.