In preparation for the upcoming election of a Constitutional Assembly that will decide on reforms of Ecuador’s constitution, the Archdiocese of Quito called on Catholics to participate in politics, but he reminded them that they should do so "as citizens" and not in the name of the Church.
"The laity who belong to movements or apostolic groups do well to participate in politics, that is their right, but they should do so as citizens and not in the name of their movements," the archdiocese said in a statement.
"The Church and the political community are of different natures because of their configuration and end," the statement affirmed. For this reason no party can lay claim to "the title ‘Catholic’," or that it is "approved or supported by the hierarchy or the clergy." Catholics, the statement went on, "are free to vote in accord with their consciences," as long as the candidates in question "do not oppose the doctrine of Jesus" and natural law.
The archdiocese reminded priests to refrain in every way from endorsing a particular political party, as such an act "endangers the fraternal communion" of Christians and is not in keeping with the Church’s social teachings.
The statement emphasized that the Constitutional Assembly should strengthen authentic democracy and "design a political and economic system" that will bring about good. It should also address issues that are "particularly sensitive for Catholics," including the defense of human life and the family, religious freedom and the right of parents to educate their children according to the own convictions.