Brazilian bishops point to defense of life, marriage and peace ahead of elections

July 21, 2010

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (CNA) — Bishops from the eastern region of Brazil in the state of Rio de Janeiro urged the faithful this week to vote in the October elections for those candidates who defend life from conception to natural death, the family and freedom of education.

In a recent statement encouraging the faithful to carefully discern the candidates for the general elections, the bishops said, “The first criteria for voting for a candidate is the defense of the dignity of the human person and of life in all of its manifestations, from conception to natural death.  We vehemently reject all forms of violence, as well as any kind of abortion, the exploitation of minors in the marketplace, euthanasia and any form of genetic manipulation.”

“The second criterion is the defense of the family, where the person grows up and reaches fulfillment.  For this reason you must elect those candidates who provide concrete incentives for the development of the family according to God’s plan.  That is, (candidates) who oppose same-sex marriage, adoption by homosexuals and the legalization of prostitution, drugs and the trafficking of women.

A third criterion is “the freedom of education through which parents have the right to educate their children according to the vision of life they deem most appropriate.” This includes working for quality in public schools and defending the right of private schools to exist in accord with the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion, “which was recently recognized in the accords between Brazil and the Holy See.”

After noting that the fourth and fifth criteria refer respectively to solidarity and the principle of subsidiarity, the bishops emphasized that voters should elect candidates who promote a culture of peace and are willing to confront the widespread violence in the country.

Political life, the bishops stressed, is one way of bringing the Gospel into daily life in order to build “a just, fraternal and equitable society.”  Politicians who act in this way will restore hope and faith to those who have become cynical and skeptical of government and government leaders, they said.

“This is a great opportunity that Catholics and all people of good will must not lose,” the bishops advised.

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