Archdiocese of Cotabato: Circular Letter on the 2016 Elections – Cardinal Orlando Quevedo

Archdiocese of Cotabato: Circular Letter on the 2016 Elections – Cardinal Orlando Quevedo

Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of the Cotabato archdiocese (Photo: Brenda Milan)

BELOVED People of God in the Archdiocese of Cotabato:

Greetings of peace in the Lord!

You may have already chosen your candidates. Let me stir your conscience. As chief religious Shepherd of the Archdiocese, my duty is to help your conscience in choosing your candidates in accordance with the moral—social principles of the Church. I do so in the light of the social situation in our country and our region.

The change that we need is a radical change. I speak of a profound change in mind, behavior, and values. Sadly a candidate who promises change could have the same values and behavior that require change.
Therefore, every voter who treasures conscience as God-given has to answer the following questions:

1. Is the candidate a person of moral integrity?
Corruption is a plague in our country. Billions of pesos go into private pockets every year instead of being spent to uplift the poor. Select a candidate that is not tainted by corruption, unexplained wealth and properties, and enrichment in office.

2. Does the candidate respect and defend the right to life?
Life is most sacred, a very precious gift of God. The right to life includes the right of the unborn, of the terminally ill, of innocent people, even of suspected or convicted criminals, of the old and the dying. The immoral termination of the life of the unborn and of innocent people, the termination of life even of suspected criminals in utter disregard of due process, are very serious violations. Select a candidate who by belief and practice demonstrates support for the right to life.

3. Does the candidate demonstrate respect for and fidelity to his or her faith?
Fidelity to the teachings on one’s faith is the mark of a God-fearing person. It is illustrated by fidelity to one’s spouse as taught by our faith, respect for religious leaders, fidelity to the commandments of honoring God’s name, to the commandments against stealing and dishonesty or against sexual immorality. Select a candidate who by word and deed is faithful to the dictates of his faith.

4. Does the candidate have an option for the poor?
This is a treasured teaching of the Catholic faith. It is expressed in various ways by other religions. The great majority of our people are poor. Will the candidate help harness—as a priority—the resources of government for the integral development of the poor, the needy, and the deprived? Will the candidate give more attention to the few who have rather than to the many who have not? Select a candidate who by deed has demonstrated option for the poor.

5. In our context in Central and Southern Mindanao, will the candidate work for a just and lasting peace?
Every candidate promises to work for peace. But consider this. The phenomenal minoritization of the Bangsamoro in the past 80 years in the land where they had once exercised self-determination and sovereignty is an undisputed historical record. Has the candidate in any way expressed his biases and prejudices against the Bangsamoro so as to obstruct rather than promote peace? Will he recognize and promote Bangsamoro self-determination while preserving national sovereignty? Select a candidate who will be a just peacemaker.

6. Is the candidate competent to govern 100 million Filipinos and lead them to a better life?
Study the track record of the candidate. Are the candidate’s claims to successful governance or management proven by the record? Does the candidate grasp and appreciate the complexities of a democratic structure of government, value and protect the freedom of its citizens? Select a candidate who does not aspire to be the messiah but is humble as well as respectful of others’ freedom and competencies.

Beloved Faithful of the Archdiocese, in your political choices, apply your moral and religious values. Do not be mesmerized by surveys and claims of change by any means. Follow the road of the Christian disciple, faithful to the Lord Jesus and to the teachings of his Church. Help heal our political culture. Place your choices in the hands of Mary, Our Mother and Intercessor, our Guide on the journey to national renewal.

+ORLANDO B. QUEVEDO, O.M.I.
Archbishop of Cotabato

May 2, 2016

Read the source and comments: http://www.cbcpnews.com/cbcpnews/?p=76938

Related Articles/ Videos click below:

Prospects under a Duterte Presidency: Scenario Analysis http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/05/prospects-under-a-duterte-presidency-scenario-analysis/

Mayor Duterte? by Archbishop Socrates Villegas http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/15/mayor-duterte-by-archbishop-socrates-villegas/

Archbishop Antonio Ledesma in Mindanao slams Duterte over killings http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/05/archbishop-antonio-ledesma-in-mindanao-slams-duterte-over-killings/

Catholics and women against Duterte http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/05/catholics-and-women-against-duterte/

Archbishop Socrates Villegas: Discerning for whom to vote in the National and Local Elections – Lord guide us with your grace http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/13/archbishop-socrates-villegas-discerning-for-whom-to-vote-in-the-national-and-local-elections-lord-guide-us-with-your-grace/

Archbishop Socrates Villegas urges voters to use 10 commandments in choosing their candidates http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/07/archbishop-socrates-villegas-urges-voters-to-use-10-commandments-in-choosing-their-candidates/

Archbishop Socrates Villegas to voters: Don’t be swayed by surveys http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/06/archbishop-socrates-villegas-to-voters-dont-be-swayed-by-surveys/

Bishop Arturo M. Bastes: A Testimony during Martial Law (1973-1986) of the Marcos Regime of the Philippines http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/15/bishop-arturo-m-bastes-a-testimony-during-martial-law-1973-1986-of-the-marcos-regime-of-the-philippines/

Christians Voting for Pro-Aborts?!?! http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/06/christians-voting-for-pro-aborts/

Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin: “Never Vote for Any Candidate of Any Party Who Supports Abortion” http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/25/catholic-bishop-thomas-tobin-never-vote-for-any-candidate-of-any-party-who-supports-abortion/

‘SACRILEGE COMMUNION’ – “If they continue to support candidates who espouse violence as a means to resolve conflicts” http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/07/sacrilege-communion-if-they-continue-to-support-candidates-who-espouse-violence-as-a-means-to-resolve-conflicts/

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma and Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal back call to examine conscience… if they agree with the candidate’s platform of violence http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/12/cebu-archbishop-jose-palma-and-emeritus-ricardo-cardinal-vidal-back-call-to-examine-conscience-if-they-agree-with-the-candidates-platform-of-violence/

Press Statement of Archbishop Socrates Villegas contrary to the misleading if not deceptive post of GMA News Online http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/19/press-statement-of-archbishop-socrates-villegas-contrary-to-the-misleading-if-not-deceptive-post-of-gma-news-online/

 

Irish Bishops Provide Pastoral Reflection in Lead-up to Elections: Ten questions based on Catholic Social Teaching for Catholics to ask candidates http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/29/irish-bishops-provide-pastoral-reflection-in-lead-up-to-elections-ten-questions-based-on-catholic-social-teaching-for-catholics-to-ask-candidates/

An Assessment of the New USCCB Document Faithful Citizenship: FCFC (#34) lists “intrinsically evil acts,” and says that Catholics cannot vote for a political candidate “who favors a policy promoting” them http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/06/an-assessment-of-the-new-usccb-document-faithful-citizenship-fcfc-34-lists-intrinsically-evil-acts-and-says-that-catholics-cannot-vote-for-a-political-candidate-who-fav/

THE DOWNLOAD—YOUR VOTE COUNTS – But it’s your own soul that’ll do the counting http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/09/20527/

THE VORTEX: A TIE IS A LOSS – Maybe Catholics should concentrate more on the Faith than on politics http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/15/the-vortex-a-tie-is-a-loss-maybe-catholics-should-concentrate-more-on-the-faith-than-on-politics/

Catholic Bishops: Voting for Candidate who supports abortion is formal cooperation with evil

Should Pope Francis get involved in politics? Of course he should   http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/19/should-pope-francis-get-involved-in-politics-of-course-he-should/

Is Health Care a Pro Life Issue? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/14/is-health-care-a-pro-life-issue/

BISHOP ROBERT MCELROY GOES SOFT ON INTRINSIC EVIL: San Diego bishop says intrinsic evils don’t automatically prioritize issues for voters http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/12/bishop-robert-mcelroy-goes-soft-on-intrinsic-evil-san-diego-bishop-says-intrinsic-evils-dont-automatically-prioritize-issues-for-voters/

Archbishop Oscar Cruz on the forthcoming elections: Principle of participation

Is Socialism Making a Comeback? – Despite Bernie Sanders’s best efforts, socialism is still as bad an idea as it ever was http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/10/is-socialism-making-a-comeback-despite-bernie-sanderss-best-efforts-socialism-is-still-as-bad-an-idea-as-it-ever-was/

CBCP President Archbishop Soc Villegas grieved over Duterte’s cursing of Pope

“When we find vulgarity funny, we have really become beastly and barbaric as a people. When a revered and loved and admired man like Pope Francis is cursed by a political candidate and the audience laugh, I can only bow my head and grieve in great shame.” http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2015/12/02/cbcp-president-archbishop-soc-villegas-grieved-over-dutertes-cursing-of-pope-etc/
– Archbishop