MANILA, March 26, 2013—Caceres Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona called on the faithful to participate in the coming elections enlightened by the teachings of the Church.
He said Catholic citizens should take part in the country’s electoral exercise and cast a Catholic vote that is free, informed, and evangelized.
On Palm Sunday, the archdiocese jump started its Voters Education Program to form electorates on their duty to vote according to conscience, informed by doctrines of the Catholic faith.
The Voters’ Education Program, according to Tirona, is the archdiocese’s “response to the challenge of our faith”.
“As disciples of Christ, it is impossible for us to follow the path of holiness if we turn a deaf ear to the call for political action. Our Catholic faith calls upon us to bring Jesus to society and society, to Jesus.”
A Catholic who votes according to the Gospel not only participates in building the nation, but also of God’s kingdom, Tirona said.
It is so, because “through a Catholic Vote, our faith bears fruit in our public decisions and political choices,” he stressed.
The prelate said a Catholic Vote is free, when the voter is not influenced by any politicians but solely by the desire to bring God to the world.
A Catholic Vote is informed, he said, when electorates vote with “a clear understanding of our faith and a vigorous effort to bring a Catholic presence in our society.”
He also said a Catholic Vote is evangelized when choices are made according to Gospel values.
“The Gospel is our moral standard and God’s love for all His children is our moral compass,” the archbishop added.
Explaining why the VEP was launched on Palm Sunday, Tirona said it implies “an entry to a transformed society.”
“As Jesus himself, in fulfilling His mission, suffered in the hands of men, we, too, will be met with much difficulty and pain. But the promise on Palm Sunday is not lost on all of us – Easter will come,” he added.
He further called on the people to take action and give their full support for voters’ education in parishes, schools and organizations.
He also urged the youth to make their voice heard and with their “energy and idealism […] bring in fresh hope to a generation that has been hurt and frustrated in the struggle for truth and justice.”
“Let a Catholic Vote be the mark of your generation. Demand for a Catholic Vote; your voice, unafraid and untainted, will surely be heard,” he said.?
A Catholic Vote, Tirona said, is faith actualized in love and service of the “the poorest, the weakest, [and] the least important” in society. (CBCPNews)