Guam archbishop urges faithful to vote with Catholic conscience

Apuron CNA Archbishop Anthony Apuron

Writing to Catholics before Guam's upcoming primary elections, Archbishop Anthony Apuron stressed to the country's faithful that “a well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law that contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals.”

Archbishop Apuron of the Archdiocese of of Agana issued his statement on Aug. 27 in time for Guam's primary elections, which will be held on Sept. 4.

“We are called to participate in the upcoming elections of our local leaders for the positions of Governor and Lt. Governor, Senator, Attorney General, and Delegate to the U.S. House of Representative,” the prelate explained. “As we exercise our civic duties, we are faced with issues that affect the common good of the People of Guam.”

Regarding the faithful's civic duty to vote, the archbishop then highlighted “non-negotiable” positions that the Catholic Church holds in five areas of concern: abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human closing and same-sex unions.

Speaking on abortion, Archbishop Apuron called the procedure the “intentional and direct killing of an innocent human being, and therefore it is a form of homicide.”

“The unborn child is always an innocent party, and no law may permit the taking of this life,” he underscored. “Even when a child is conceived through rape or incest, the fault is not the child’s who should not suffer death for others' sins.”

On the issue of same-sex unions, Archbishop Apuron stressed that marriage “is the union of one man and one woman.” 

“Legal recognition of any other union as ‘marriage’ undermines true marriage,” he noted. “Any legal recognition of same-sex union actually does individuals with tendencies for same sex a disfavor by encouraging them to persist in what is an objectively immoral arrangement.”

The archbishop also addressed Catholic lawmakers, telling them they have “a moral duty to express their opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against same-sex union. To vote in for, or advocate such action, is harmful to the common good and is gravely immoral.”

Addressing euthanasia, the archbishop called the act “homicide.” “No person has the right to take his own life, and no one has the right to take the life of any innocent person,” he wrote. “In euthanasia, the sick or elderly are killed by action or omission, out of a misplaced sense of compassion or misguided mercy.” “True compassion,” he stated, “cannot include intentionally doing something intrinsically evil to another person.”

The prelate then urged Catholics to “not vote for the candidates who are right on lesser issues but who will vote contrary to the Church teachings on key moral issues.”

In his concluding remarks, Archbishop Apuron told the faithful to “participate and exercise your civic duties as Catholic voters and make known your position by selecting the candidates who are willing to be accountable towards the common good of the People of Guam.”

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