Freetown (Agenzia Fides) - The Bishops of Sierra Leone call on the faithful to unity and commitment in political life in a Pastoral Letter dedicated to the general election in November. The document, sent to Fides Agency, recognizes "that the Church is involved in the political process but is not partisan. In other words, the Church cannot champion the cause of any candidate or political party.
" "Our cause" – continue the Bishops-is the defense of our Country and its citizens, inspired by fundamental moral principles which are essential for every authentic human living."
The Bishops therefore call the citizens to vote for leaders who they believe to be able "to represent and serve national interests to the best of their abilities", but warn that "while you exercise your democratic freedom to vote, it is important to judge a party on its overall policy regarding the key values of the Gospel such as promoting life, human dignity, justice, fostering peace and good governance." It also urges voters not to vote on the basis of tribal affiliation, regional or linguistic.
In the conclusive recommendations the Bishops call on Catholics to reject all forms of violence, the politicians to accept the election result and the police to remain neutral. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 07/08/2012)