Dear Friends in Christ:
Each of us are called as Catholics and as citizens to active participation in the political process. This means that we must learn about the issues and where each candidate stands on them, and vote for those candidates we believe will advance our common good. It is one very important way for us to answer Christ’s call to be salt of the earth and light of the world and to let our light shine before others (Matt 5:13-16). It is a requirement of our faith that is protected by our country’s Constitution.
It is incumbent on each of us to research the candidates for national, statewide, and local offices to see if their stances on issues are in keeping with our values and the teachings of our Church. Do they, in word and policy, uphold the dignity of every human person? Do they support the restriction of, and ultimately bringing to an end, the destruction of unborn children through abortion; and strongly oppose euthanasia? Do they show care for the poor, sick and marginalized that reflect Gospel values? Are they open to choice in education to help underprivileged children break the cycle of poverty? Do they support the fundamental understanding of marriage as a life-long union of one man and one woman? Do they support religious freedom in all matters, especially in health care?
I urge you to read “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility,” the U.S. Bishops’ teaching document on the political responsibilities of Catholics. It offers excellent guidance as we exercise our rights and duties as participants in democracy. A link to this important and informative document can be found on the Diocese of Wilmington’s website — www.cdow.org.
During this contentious election season, it would be easy for us to throw our hands up in exasperation and retreat to the sidelines. However, that would be in direct contradiction to our responsibilities. If we don’t bring civility and Christian values into the public arena, who will?
In September 2004, my predecessor, Bishop Michael Saltarelli, issued the Litany of St. Thomas More, Martyr and Patron Saint of Statesmen, Politicians and Lawyers. I ask that you join me and Catholics from across Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore in praying the Litany after all Masses in the Diocese the weekend of November 5 and 6. You can clip the Litany out of the Oct. 28* edition of The Dialog, download it from the diocesan website, or look for a copy in church that weekend.
May God bless you and God bless America.
Sincerely in Our Lord,
Most Rev. W. Francis Malooly
Bishop of Wilmington