We are less than three months away from presidential elections. And to be honest, it has been a bit too much for me to take. Any time I watch news on TV, read a newspaper or search media I come across a lot of information about the campaigns or candidates which I consider less than relevant for the presidential elections. Despite that, I believe we have the responsibility as faithful citizens to be well informed about the political agenda of each candidate, so that we can ensure a well-informed vote and conscience.
Since my arrival to the United States back in May 2006, I have observed in the last two presidential campaigns (and the current one is no exception) that the main themes which draw people’s attention are economy, security, and immigration. Certainly they should be of high concern for every US citizen during these times of economic upheaval, eminent retreats from terrorism, and needed immigration reforms. As Catholics, nonetheless, we need to question and demand clear answers from the candidates about the main moral teachings, which lately have not been protected and endorsed by federal laws and policies.
Unless we clearly understand the Church’s teaching on the sacredness and dignity of human life, sacramental marriage and the Catholic understanding of human sexuality, we will not be able to exercise our duty as faithful citizens at the voting poll. Unless we clearly understand the church’s position on the intrinsic evil of abortion, euthanasia, same sex marriage, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, among others, our decision might not be in accord with the Church’s teaching.
Therefore, we should take time to learn or to refresh the Church’s teachings on these matters before we approach the day of election. Please take the “Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics.” Make time to read and meditate on these highly important topics before you approach the voting poll. We have also prepared a booklet titled: “Prayers for Our Nation.” This booklet will be available for those of you who come for weekday masses and time of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Praying for our nation and candidates is also of high importance and a way to prepare ourselves.
God bless you all.
Rev. Johnson Lopez
Father Lopez is Pastor of Saint Patrick Catholic Church in Rochelle, IL.