“Take your Catholic beliefs, values, and consciences into the voting booth with you.”

ST. AUGUSTINE, September 28, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Although Catholic voters have received mixed signals this election year from some prelates, Bishop Felipe Estévez has sent a clear message to the faithful of his diocese: human life and family issues have top priority when deciding for whom to vote.

In a letter to the Catholics of the diocese of St. Augustine, Florida, where Estévez presides, the newly-appointed bishop urges the faithful to “take your Catholic beliefs, values, and consciences into the voting booth with you.”

While refraining from specific political endorsements, Estévez notes that it is “my responsibility to remind you that, for us Catholics, some issues are simply never morally acceptable,” beginning with those that violate the right to life.

“The taking of an innocent human life, whether inside the womb or not, and up until natural death, is always and everywhere intrinsically evil,” the bishop writes. “Such issues as embryonic stem cell research and attempts at human cloning are also direct attacks against the dignity and uniqueness of human life made in the image of God.”

Moreover, Catholics have an obligation to defend the institution of marriage, the prelate observes, calling the dignity of traditional matrimony “of central importance” which “must never be undermined because marriage is a cornerstone of any stable society.”

“Any attempts to re-define marriage as something other than between a man and a woman, should be vigorously opposed by a Catholic as contrary to reason, the natural law, and the divinely revealed truths of the Bible,” writes Estévez. “Beyond these fundamental issues, and closely related to them is the issue of religious liberty – our ability as Catholics to live our lives publically according to our faith and morals at all levels of society.

Although Estévez doesn’t specify any candidates in his recommendations, he explicitly calls for a “yes” vote on two proposed state constitutional amendments, numbers 6 and 8, which would prohibit public expenditures for abortion or abortion-related services, and which would allow state funding of faith-based organizations.

Estévez, 66, was installed as Bishop of San Augustine in June of 2011 following his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI to replace retiring bishop Victor Galeone. He was born in Cuba, and fled the communist and anti-Catholic regime of Fidel Castro through Operation Peter Pan in the early 1960s.

They read this letter at Mass last week and it is always nice to be able to post something positive about your own Bishop.


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Readers Comments (3)

  1. The Catholic Church dictating civil policy has no place in the USA. Are are not a theocracy! They need to loose their tax exempt status. And where were these Bishops when the two wars were being voted on? All except 3 voted in their big meeting to support the wars.. So much for being against Killing! They are all about power and control and the Catholic people who still contribute to them are no using their god given rational powers.

  2. Barbara,

    The Catholic Church guides all Catholics in faith and morals, and thus any American Catholic should listen to the Church when forming their consciences. Since our morals guide our civil actions, why do you feel our morals have no place in dictating civil policy? If our morals don’t derive from our beliefs, from where are we to get them? Also please show me the evidence of the USCCBs “vote” to support the wars. Your bias seems to be blurring your logic.

  3. John D. Jopling October 2, 2012 @ 8:03 pm

    Bishop Estevez –

    Thank you for graciously not presuming to tell me who to vote for in the upcoming election. In the same spirit, I do not resume to tell you how to administer a diocese. Please be assured, however, that I fully intend to vote my Catholic values, which are clearly broader and less selective than yours. My Catholic values include Jesus’ admonition to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, provide hospitality to the stranger, and care for the sick, and for “the least of these.” My Catholic values include Jesus’ teaching that “blessed are the peacemakers.” My Catholic values include what I believe is a sacred obligation of good stewardship towards all of God’s creation. Of course, I do not expect to find any candidate or party to perfectly reflect all my Catholic values. I expect, therefor, to follow my conscience, formed both by the teaching of my church, the words of scripture and the God-given gift of reason.

    But thanks for the input.

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