The Executive Committee of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference has issued a statement in view of the upcoming general elections reminding Catholics that while they can belong or support different political parties, some policies are incompatible with Christian teachings and therefore should not be supported.
In view of the March 9 elections, the bishops said they were offering “to Catholics and all those who wish to listen to some considerations that encourage responsible voting.” “We speak as pastors of the Church who have the duty and the right to guide the moral discernment that is necessary when making decisions that will contribute to the full recognition of the fundamental rights of all and the promotion of the common good,” they stated.
The bishops expressed their respect for “those who see things differently,” but they called for “freedom and respect for freely proposing our way of seeing things, without anybody feeling threatened or without our comments being interpreted as an offense or a danger to the freedom of others.”
“While it is true that Catholics can support different parties and be active in them,” they added, “it is also true that not all policies are equally compatible with the faith and the demands of the Christian life, nor are they equally close and proportionate to the objectives and values that Christians should promote in public life.”
For this reason, “Catholics and citizens who wish to act responsibly, before casting their vote in favor of a particular proposal, should evaluate the different political options, keeping in mind the appreciation that each party, each policy and each leader gives to the moral dimension of life,” the bishops said.
“The State’s neutrality on religion or secular nature should not be confused with a moral disconnect and the extinction of objective moral obligations,” the bishops continued. “In saying this we are not pretending to submit government leaders to Catholic moral criteria. But we are asking them to abide by the common moral denominator founded upon reason and upon the historical experience of each nation.”
The bishops recalled that “it is not just to try to artificially construct a society without religious references, [making it] exclusively worldly, without worship of God or any aspiration for eternal life.”