I am writing early on Tuesday morning after a wonderful presentation last evening by Father Bernie Healey at our Men's Fellowship gathering. Fr. healey spoke of his ministry as the lobbyist for the Diocese of Providence. Perhaps more importantly, he spoke of the U.S. Catholic Bishop's document Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. This document is critical for all of us as we go to the polls this Tuesday.
The document highlights the importance of human dignity and the right to life, "the most fundamental human good and the condition for all the others". Issues that involve direct attacks on life itself, such as abortion or euthanasia or unjust war, therefore should be the first concern of Catholic voters. Our duty to protect innocent human life, they wrote, "has a special claim on our consciences and our actions".
Our Catholic Bishops remind us of the length and breadth of our moral responsibility:
"Catholic teaching about the dignity of life calls us to oppose torture, unjust war, and the use of the death penalty; to present genocide and attacks against noncombatants; to oppose racism; and to overcome poverty and suffering."
As election day approaches, may we take our civic and moral duties seriously. May God bless our country as we strive to be a beacon of God's light and justice in the world.
Fr. Bob Hawkins - November 2, 2008