It is a common misconception that Catholics only care about "below the belt issues": Abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage etc. But there is more to society than sex and life, and so more for us to care about, says Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP.
- Sydney Catholic
With the Federal election just around the corner, we all have to decide who to vote for. This is not always an easy decision, but it is a very important responsibility, for Catholics as for others. We all must decide who deserves our vote.
It is said that an unusually high proportion of Australian voters have "disengaged," i.e. they are not much interested in this election. Why is that? One reason might be that the election campaign has gone on for so long that it has run out of steam and can no longer hold people's attention. Another might be that there is little to choose between major parties competing for "the middle".
An even more important reason might be that the major parties are not talking about the issues about which people are most passionate - certainly not the issues about which Catholics should be most passionate.
As the Bishops of Australia asked in their recent electoral statement: Who among the political parties today is standing up for the family? For the unborn? For the elderly? For refugees? Who is standing up on issues such as workers' rights, human trafficking, or foreign aid?
Even when such issues are brought into the public domain, they are rarely discussed in other than a populist or pragmatic way; there is no reference to any guiding principles or assessment of which policies best serve the dignity of the person and the common good.
All too often, for example, discussion of the asylum-seekers or other pressing migration issues appeals more to people's fears than their generosity, more to our baser nature than the nobler side of Australians.
What are the Catholic issues?
The Catechism of the Church teaches that it is our duty to "contribute along with the civil authorities to the good of society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity and freedom." (§2239)
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