Carroll supports Vatican call for politicians to act morally
Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference President, Archbishop Francis Carroll has backed a Vatican call for Catholic politicians and lay people to be guided by their moral convictions when making political decisions.
The call was made in a Doctrinal Note issued to bishops worldwide by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (pictured).
Archbishop Carroll welcomed the note, saying it sought not to impose any single view on complex matters, but to restate established Church teaching and highlight the need for Christians to integrate faith and life.
The Note stresses the importance of moral conviction particularly in matters of life and human dignity.
"At a time when the world faces increasing uncertainty on so many fronts, this note offers Christians soundly based guidance to help them make decisions in the interests of human life and the common good," he said.
The note also reasserted the right and the duty of Catholics to have a legitimate role in public debate and emphasised they were not to divorce their political and moral life.
Cardinal Ratzinger said the note was deemed necessary because of some ambiguous positions and questionable opinions among Catholics on the relationship between ethics and politics.
"The Church recognises that while democracy is the best expression of the direct participation of citizens in political choices, it succeeds only to the extent that it is based on a correct understanding of the human person," the note said.
Scientific advances had led to difficult ethical considerations and in some cases laws were proposed which attacked human life.
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
Briefing Paper by Dr Warwick Neville, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the participation of Catholics in political life (full text)
Strong Vatican Document on Catholic Political Responsibilities (Catholic World News)
Moral line urged (Herald-Sun)
Vatican calls Catholic politicians into line (Reuters)
Vatican cautions Catholic politicians on abortion, euthanasia votes (ABC)
17 Jan 2003