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Commission Urges Catholics to Explore Election Issues Critically

Brisbane’s Archdiocesan Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has urged Catholics to take an active interest in the forthcoming Federal election.

The Commission’s Chair, Mr Rick Sheehan, said that the pastoral statement on the Federal election issued by the Australian Bishops had given Catholics a solid foundation for analysing the state of public policy in Australia.

“The Justice and Peace Commission encourages Catholics to take every opportunity to be involved in activities that inform us and help us to analyse policies and issues from a gospel perspective,” Mr Sheehan said.

“We are very supportive of the election activity of Catholic organisations such as the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council and the Social Action Office of Queensland’s religious congregations,” he said.

“Christians need to be asking probing questions of all political candidates and citizens so that the Gospel values of justice, peace and freedom permeate our social structures more fully,” he said.

“We also encourage Catholics to participate in election activities organised by other community groups,” he added.

The Commission has distributed Federal election material issued by the Australian Bishops and the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council.

It is also cooperating in the Social Action Office’s For the Common Good campaign.

“Our Commission reminds Catholics that political activity is encouraged by the Church as a vital part of living out our faith,” Mr Sheehan said.

“But I also remind people that Christian political activity is about promoting Gospel values and not about promoting one political party or another,” he said.

“Our Christian responsibility is to be a voice with the most vulnerable in our society and any analysis of policies and directions must be critiqued from the eyes,ears, and hearts of the most vulnerable,” he said.

“There are many people and issues within Australian society that need a prophetic voice and, if we are to carry out our Christian mission in daily life as our 2003 Brisbane Synod urged, we need to stand with the most marginalised in society during the forthcoming election campaign and enable their cries for justice and freedom to be heard by our nation’s leaders,” he added.

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