Canadian Bishops Issue Catholic Voting Guide saying "The principles of respect for life from conception to natural death and of the dignity of the human person should influence how Christians..."
Voting as Catholics: 2019 Federal Election Guide
The 2019 Federal Election Guide, prepared by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops' (CCCB) Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace and published in the name of the Permanent Council, has been formatted for online sharing and includes hyperlinks directing the reader to further resources on various issues important to Catholics. The Guide's content offers a reflection on key ethical and moral issues that voters, especially Catholics, may want to consider. Above is a Full Text Release from USCCB
Full Text Guide below: (also can be downloaded)
Voting as Catholics: 2019 Federal Election Guide
VOTING AS CATHOLICS
2019 Federal Election Guide
Voting: A Right and Responsibility
Canadian Catholics are being called upon as citizens to
exercise their right to vote. The Church encourages and
reasserts its belief in “the political freedom and responsibility
By exercising their right to vote, citizens fulfill
their duty of choosing a government and at the same time
send a clear signal to the candidates being presented by their
political parties for election. The important time leading up
to an election also provides Canadians with the opportunity
to interact with fellow voters, one’s neighbours, and the
candidates themselves (particularly during their visits to
neighbourhoods), raising awareness about the values, views,
and concerns shared by Catholics across the country.
Political candidates are citizens, too. In addition, they
assume responsibility for the well-being of the public. Their
commitment and dedication are a generous contribution to
society’s common good. Indeed, the purpose of the political
community is itself the common good, namely, “the sum of
those conditions of […] social life whereby people, families
and associations more adequately and readily may attain their
Working to Build a Better Society
While Christian beliefs do not constitute a political platform,
they can be seen as a prism through which to analyze and
evaluate government policies, laws, and programs. The
principles of respect for life from conception to natural death
and of the dignity of the human person should influence
how Christians assess a party’s position on key moral issues.
Choosing life also means being always concerned for the
weakest among us – physically, economically, and socially.
It likewise implies the protection of the most fundamental
human rights, including the right to religious freedom and
freedom of conscience.
A more just society is also built when we live in solidarity and
dialogue with different social partners, including Indigenous
Peoples, as well as by supporting families and ensuring
adequate funding for education, healthcare, housing, and the
prevention and treatment of addictions.
Working with fellow citizens to address social concerns
is fundamentally built on a view of the person inherently
belonging to a community. To ensure our communities are
truly welcoming and humane, we must also combat all forms
of poverty, which inevitably result in the segregation and
isolation of individuals.
Canada in the World: Providing Leadership
for Justice and Peace
Believing in justice and peace includes daring to take a stand
against the arms trade and against human trafficking, which
exploits young people and workers. It means entering into
international treaties that respect the planet, our common
home, as well as tirelessly working for the expansion of peace
Voting Means Using Your Judgment
Exercising the right to vote means making informed and
discerning judgments about the options available. There are
times, however, when making a decision about who to vote
for may prove very difficult. The Church reminds us that “in
this context, it must be noted also that a well-formed Christian
conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program
or an individual law in which the fundamental content of
faith and morals is replaced by the introduction of proposals
differing from this content or opposing it.”3
It is a sign of a healthy democratic community when informed
and responsible citizens engage in an ongoing dialogue on
major social issues with their political leaders. This is precisely
the kind of community we should strive to support and
develop. No less is expected of us, since all are called to take
an active part in morally shaping the societies we inhabit and,
Christians in particular, to defend the rights of those who are
1. Second Vatican Council, The Church in the Modern World, n. 76.3.
2. Second Vatican Council, The Church in the Modern World, n. 74.1.
3. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Doctrinal Note: On Some Questions Regarding
the Participation of Catholics in Political Life, 4. See also the Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2242.