Election votes must consider the good of all, say Catholic bishops

2 Nov 2011 | GENERAL INTEREST

New Zealand’s Catholic bishops have asked New Zealanders and especially Catholics to consider the common good of all when they vote in the November general election.

In a statement being distributed to Catholic parishes throughout the country, the bishops emphasise that politics is not a private affair and that the election is an opportunity to help secure the common good.

President of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop John Dew of Wellington, says when we are making political choices we need to think beyond what will be “better for me” and think about what will be “better for us”.

“We need to ask whether political policy options enhance our life together as a community, and most importantly, whether they protect the vulnerable,” he says.

In the statement the bishops ask whether we merely consider a “shopping list” of political choices.

They suggest we can instead be dynamic and active advocates for political choices such as valuing human life, protecting the poor and vulnerable in our society, enhancing our relationships and communities, and preserving the goods of the earth.

The bishops recognise that there are many different possible policies or options which could achieve a just and fair society. They ask that people use their consciences to challenge and debate the options put forward by political parties to help ensure the outcomes of the election build the common good of all.

“We must look to the good of all members of our communities,” says Archbishop Dew, “not just to our own needs and wants”.

“Participation in the democratic process is important. During elections, we have the opportunity and responsibility to address the needs of all in our community”.

END

Read full statement

To arrange an interview with Archbishop John Dew contact:

Angela Pyke
Communications Adviser
New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference
Tel 04 496 1725, Mob 021 611 052