Bishop supports lay initiative for catholic vote

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Bishop Arturo Bastes

MANILA, Nov. 28, 2012—Lipa Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles expressed his support for initiatives of the laity to push for a “Catholic vote.”

When asked about certain movements from lay organizations to push for a Catholic vote, the prelate said, “Of course, of course! That is what I am saying all the time. Dapat mga lay organizations talaga ang magsimula (It should be lay organizations initiating).”

Arguelles also revealed that bishops are already initiating moves to educate the faithful on what to consider when voting.

“We are trying to encourage good Catholics and I think there are people responding to that to join us,” he said.

The bishop further clarified that a “Catholic vote” is ‘bloc voting,’ which others may think it is, but simply a suggested choice for a better alternative.

“We are asking the people to vote for the preservation of Catholic teachings. ‘Yung mga maliwanag na kontra sa morality that we have as Christians, as people ‘yun ang lalabanan natin. Hindi namin sasabihin na iboto mo si Candidate A. Ang sasabihin namin ay si candidate na ito ay hindi nagdadala ng values,” he explained.

Arguelles emphasized that the initiative for a Catholic vote will stay and a mandate from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is not required to make it official since each bishop is independent and directly under the pope.

He mentioned that other prelates such as Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes have expressed the same support for this push for a Catholic vote and that he is optimistic other bishops will see the need for it “because this is the call of the moment. Whether there will be an official stand or not, it will be there.”

Bastes on Monday said a campaign informing the faithful about candidates and their positions on the controversial population control measure opposed by the Church was underway.

“I already told my priests about it,” Bastes said.

Arguelles pointed out that Filipinos have been electing politicians who have not resolved the ills of our country and that there is a need for leaders who respect the value of life.

“We have been changing leaders pero pare-pareho din. I think it is high time that we do something. I think it is a matter of our religious commitment,” the prelate said. (CBCP for Life)

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