AMERICA/MEXICO - The Archdiocese prepares the lay to a "conscience vote" for the presidential elections

Mexico City (Agenzia Fides) - Less than 50 days since the start of the campaign for the presidential elections, the Archdiocese of Mexico has invited Catholics and people of good will to exercise the right to vote in accordance with the dictates of one’s own conscience. In a statement signed by the Archbishop of Mexico, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, and his Auxiliary Bishops, the Archdiocese urges the faithful to participate in building the common good in society. "We refer to the responsibility of the lay faithful to participate in building the democratic life of the country with the vote in the elections of July 2012" is what is written in the text.
The statement, which Fides received explains: "The vote should take moral responsibility, ie, must be consistent with the dictates of conscience and faith, which cannot be separated from political choices, since the policy may contradict justice and truth". Citing the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, Cardinal Rivera Carrera and the Bishops are asking pastors to lead the faithful to discern political proposals which can cause religious, moral and social implications and contradict the teachings of the Catholic Church.
The text specifies that the vote expressed in conscience should take into consideration at least nine elements, according to the values of an authentic humanism that puts the person and human dignity at the center of the service of political activities above the interests of party or their ideologies. Another aspect to consider is education, not only as the transmission of knowledge, but as an integral formation that promotes the different values of human coexistence. To consider the promotion of the family, bearing in mind that marriage is between a man and a woman, as the basis of human and Christian society.
Similarly we must remember the fight against social injustice, dramatically present in the abysmal social inequalities and poverty in which over half the population live. That means creating well-paid jobs, social programs free from paternalism and clientelism, promoting a culture of work, solidarity and commitment to the community and saving. It is also necessary to remember the fight against corruption, which must start with a clean criminal record of candidates, which should start as a real commitment of the parties to fight and reject dishonesty. In this sense, the Archdiocese has confirmed today that corruption is the cancer that destroys the country and corrupts the young generation, who see this evil as something natural or necessary.
In expressing the vote one must also keep in mind: the need to promote economic development initiatives in the country, through a series of constitutional reforms postponed several times due to the interests of the parties; to analyze the fight against organized crime, an obligation for the State, in which it is always essential to respect human rights and the preservation of social peace, ensuring the integration, assistance, protection and social advancement of vulnerable people, including the elderly, children, the disabled and indigenous people, as well as combating discrimination, abuse and exclusion.
The last point concerns the treatment and ecological conservation of natural resources. This is why one needs to sensitize society about exploitation and pollution, as well as educating the new generations to the responsibility towards creation. Regarding the values of the Gospel, the Catholics "must be fully aware of the candidates and their parties commitment to respecting the rights, first of all, the right to life, from conception until its natural end", emphasizes the document. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 16/2/2012)

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