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Bishops urge vote for the common good


Australia's Bishops have issued a statement ahead of the Federal Election identifying some of the challenges now facing the nation and urging Australians to consider their vote in light of the common good.

The statement coincides with yesterday's renewed speculation about an early election following opinion poll findings that give the Government a commanding a six-point lead.

Stressing that the bishops do not wish to be politically partisan, or to compromise the freedom of Catholic voters, Bishops Conference President Archbishop Francis Carroll said voters should go beyond their personal interests and consider which candidates are recognise the need "to protect life, to support families and to ensure a fair go for all Australians, especially the weakest and most vulnerable in our society".

The Bishops yesterday released a document titled Having Faith in our Democracy: Building a Better Australia. It comprises an annotated checklist which each point expressed as "Building a Culture of..."

The items on the list of "cultures" include: life, love, knowledge, health, care, reconciliation, hospitality, peace, creation.

The document repeats the Bishops' wish not to be politically partisan. Its general principles contrast with the more specific election statements of some bishops in the US, who are instructing Catholics not to vote for particular candidates who support abortion.

SOURCE
Catholic Bishops issue Federal Election statement
Having Faith in our Democracy: Building a Better Australia

SOURCE
Howard bounces back in the polls (ABC AM 1/6/04)


2 Jun 2004