Let your “informed” conscience be your guide

Listen, learn and most important PRAY when considering the candidates

We are well into the final weeks before the presidential elections. Perhaps you will agree that this has been a very difficult campaign. More and more issues surrounding the sanctity of human life are being pushed into the political arena and as a result our Catholic moral beliefs are being misrepresented and confused.

I would like to take a moment to clarify Catholic teaching on life and moral issues now being debated in the public arena. The first and most critical is the issue of life in the womb.

As Catholics we believe and defend that life begins at conception. Life is a gift from God, life is from the Creator; therefore, no one has the right, not even the mother herself, to extinguish the gift of life from God. We believe that every human life is intrinsically valuable and must be protected from the moment of conception until natural death.

The debates also include the definition of marriage. Marriage is the union of a man and woman. By nature, men and women are called into a permanent covenant of love that reflects the communion existing in God. As Catholics, we believe and defend the definition of marriage; the union of a man and a woman.

Religious Freedom is at great risk on several fronts. The HHS mandates folded into the new healthcare are an intrusion in the free practice of our Catholic faith. No government anywhere in the world should impose mandates that create obstacles for those who want to practice their faith in freedom. Since 1919 the Catholic Church has championed affordable healthcare for all our citizens and we continue to do so, but not at the cost of diminishing Freedom of Religion.

So many of our brothers and sisters are suffering from the economy. Each side presents different approaches. Whether one embraces one side or the other is a matter of conscience as well. In preparation to vote this year, please take time to be well-informed and considering also the plight of the poor and those who are without work.

Be assured that I will be praying for each one of you as you listen to the debates and consider the issues at hand. I would ask that we all vote with an informed conscience and not be swayed by emotions. As Catholic citizens of this blessed country, let us open our minds to the will of our Creator and vote to promote life, to maintain justice among all people and seek the good of every human being even the human person in its mother’s womb.

May God bless you and keep America free, beautiful and just.

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