The bishops from the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro issued a statement on Oct. 18 encouraging the faithful to vote for candidates who defend life from conception until natural death.
Coming just two weeks before the Oct. 31 presidential runoff election, the bishops said that “because of her universality, the Catholic Church does not have its own party or candidate.” However, the prelates emphasized that the Church “urges now more than ever that voters elect those who respect ethical principles and the criteria of Catholic morality as laid out in the Social Doctrine of the Church.”
The bishops explained that “in particular, those who have defended and defend the value of life from conception to natural death and who defend the family in its natural form should be elected.” They also rejected the idea that abortion be considered “an issue of public health.”
The October 18 presidential runoff will give voters the chance to choose between Dilma Rousseff and José Serra. In 2007 and 2009, Rousseff voiced her support for the legalized abortion, but she has recently attempted to change her position in order to keep from slipping in the polls.