AMERICA/MEXICO - The Bishops for the elections: to participate in order to transform

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Mexico City (Agenzia Fides) - "To participate in the civic and political life of our communities is a civil and Christian obligation that we cannot and should not ignore. Only by participating we can positively transform our nation, in fidelity to its origins and to its historical destiny".
It is with this exhortation that the message "to the dear brothers and sisters of the pilgrim Church in Mexico" of the Bishops, on the occasion of the 2018 elections, published with the date of 19 March begins. The new President of the Republic will be elected next July 1 and the Federal Parliament, nine governors, numerous local deputies and more than 1,000 mayors will be renewed, for a total of more than 3 thousand elective jobs.
Recalling that this year, for the elections, 90 million Mexicans over 18 years of age will be able to vote freely and secretly, the Bishops recall "some elements that help the personal and community discernment that every Christian faithful is called to carry out in order to fulfill the moral obligation to elect its rulers and legislators".
In the text, sent to Agenzia Fides, the Bishops reaffirm that "the Christian faith transcends concrete political proposals and leaves the faithful free to choose in conscience according to the principles and values they have discovered in the experience of faith". Jesus Christ is at the center of our faith, who reveals fundamental truths to make life more dignified and free: "the respect that people deserve from the moment of conception to that of natural death, the importance of heterosexual and monogamous marriage; the validity of the most complete freedom to live individually and as an associate according to our options of conscience in religious matters; the ethical and social centrality that the poorest and most excluded of our societies possess, etc...".
Therefore the Bishops stress the importance of a "critical discernment" that in today's society allows us to choose, according to our conscience, "those who can fulfill the common good in a real and authentic way", for this reason they exhort all Christians and people of good will to participate, as "the more citizens participate in the elections in an organized way, the greater the chances are for our society to mature and be co-responsible in the management of the common good".
The text, signed by Cardinal José Francisco Robles Ortega, Archbishop of Guadalajara, and by Mgr. Alfonso Miranda Guardiola, Auxiliary Bishop of Monterrey, respectively President and Secretary General of the Mexican Episcopal Conference, then offers some practical indications, first of all prayer in the family and in the community, "so that the next elections take place in peace and harmony" and are an opportunity for all of us to work for the Mexican people "who today, in various regions, live a difficult reality and suffer". Therefore it is necessary to avoid to choose on the basis of the "lesser evil" at all costs, but to seek the "possible good", which means "promoting what contributes to the common good, peace, security, justice, respect for human rights, to integral human development and to real solidarity with the poorest and the excluded".
In all the parties one can find candidates committed to the common good, "therefore it is necessary to discern who to vote for". "The vote of Mexicans must produce responsible rulers and authorities, and generate a critical public opinion" the Bishops continue, stressing that "our vote requires sound control over our politicians: in their salary and activities, in the expenses of the parties and publicity, in projects and public works, in the control of corruption, illegality and the elimination of arbitrary choices".
In the final part of the message, it is reiterated that "only the participatory presence, constantly and in solidarity in the life of the country, gradually eliminates violence, corruption, impunity and complicity. It is time that Catholics, together with all men and women of good will, work tirelessly for a more prosperous and peaceful Mexico, more supportive and participatory, more attentive towards the poor and less complicit of those who forget them, manipulate them or marginalize them".
Finally, the Bishops rely on the intercession of Saint Mary of Guadalupe, so that she preserves peace in Mexico, and gives good rulers to Mexicans and allows to discover the ways of justice, reconciliation and hope. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 21/3/2018)