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Take voting seriously


As South Australians prepare for the State election, Archbishop Patrick O’Regan and Vicar General Fr Dean Marin have urged Catholics to take seriously their civic responsibility in voting for the best outcome for all in society.

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Archbishop O’Regan said it was important to resist the temptation to look at how the outcome would affect us as individuals but rather to consider the common good.

“By putting the common good first we help to create a more just and equitable society,” he said.

“By putting the common good first we can help to reverse the trend of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, which sadly during the COVID pandemic has grown even wider.

“By putting the common good first we actually express our Catholic faith on many of the aspects of important life issues.”

Fr Marin

Fr Marin said it was up to people of faith to judge and discern their decision in the light of the principles and values of the Gospel.

He referred to the long tradition of Catholic Social Teaching which began in 1891 with the Church defending the rights of workers during the Industrial Revolution and also its right to enter into both public and political spheres.

In the 1980s the American Bishops, considering the Cold War and the threat of a nuclear apocalypse, issued the pastoral letter The Challenge of Peace.

“Soon afterwards, Cardinal Bernardin, chair of the US Bishop’s Pro-Life Committee first described a consistent ethic of life using the image of the ‘Seamless Garment’ whereby he linked the issues of abortion, euthanasia, war, capital punishment, poverty and health care reform,” Fr Marin said.

“In 1995 St Pope John Paul II issued the encyclical Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life) in which he too begins with the dignity and sanctity of each human life and commends it as the founding principle to be applied in a consistent way.”

Fr Marin said in light of these values he considered the main issues for the State and Federal elections to be: the environment and care for the earth; economic recovery after the pandemic; the disadvantage of Indigenous Australians; domestic violence; asylum seekers and immigrants; homelessness; education; poverty; health care; and all forms of discrimination.

“Specifically, in South Australia within a year, we have seen the passing of abortion ’til birth legalisation and an assisted dying bill,” he added.

“This undermining of the dignity and sanctity of human life must not go unchallenged.”

Fr Marin encouraged Catholics to study the policies of the various parties but “go beyond them as well”.

“Pray about your vote and then vote with your conscience formed according to the values of our faith.”

Read Fr Dean Marin’s opinion piece here.



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