News & Events
Aug 27, 2015
Canada's Federal Election: an encounter between the Gospel and our culture
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In a few weeks, Canadians will be called upon to exercise their democratic right and responsibility to vote in Canada’s Federal Election on Monday, October 19, 2015.
We all have a duty and a responsibility to elect representatives who will sincerely work for the common good. Our democracy cannot be productive and sound without our participation in the democratic process. The Church recognizes that democracy is the best expression of a full participation of its citizens in the public arena, but it rightly reminds us that the true common good of society can only be served if it is based on the correct understanding of the human person.
We live in a fast-changing and complex society that contains much that is good in the advancement of the quality of life through helpful technologies, a sense of tolerance and respect towards others and a genuine care for those who suffer both in Canada and abroad. However, there are signs of increasing attacks on the principal of the dignity of human life. In Canada, we are very much aware that our major political parties do not have a platform in support of human life and that it appears extremely difficult, at present, to overturn the situation regarding respect for human life. It is important then to understand clearly where the candidates stand on such issues. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has provided some examples of the application of Catholic moral and social teaching and how these may be used to analyze and evaluate public policies and programs. A copy of this document is attached to assist in your discernment, as together we ask “What do the political parties say about these issues? What positions are the candidates taking?”
In Pope Francis’ recent Encyclical Laudato Si', his compelling statements clearly outline our collective responsibility “to care for our common home.” He states, “Today in view of the common good, there is urgent need for politics and economics to enter into a frank dialogue in the service of life, especially human life.” In April of this year the Pope also commented, “The Church is … not a political party, but Catholics must get involved and ‘embroiled’ in politics because it is one of the highest forms of charity since it seeks the common good.”
As we approach this Election Day, we need to be aware that this exercise of democracy is an important aspect of the Christian Life—the encounter between the Gospel and our culture.
Most Reverend Gary Gordon
Bishop of Victoria