Archbishop Palma to priests: Don’t campaign at pulpit
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said that while the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines encouraged active involvement of its members in the electoral process, priests should not use the Church, especially the pulpit to campaign for their chosen candidate.
“As an archbishop, as a Church leader I would tell the priests to not use the church, the pulpit in particular, to campaign for a particular candidate,” said the prelate.
However, priests are given the liberty to support a candidate on their own capacity as the Church is encouraged by Pope Francis to be involved in choosing the right leader to lead their countries.
The Conference of Catholic Bishops in the Philippines (CBCP) is expected to release a guide for the lay faithful and religious faithful regarding the elections.
This would help guide Catholic Christians in choosing a candidate
“We are coming out, the CBCP, with a pastoral letter which is a good guidance for me, for both candidates and voters. We are in the process of meeting together fine tuning it, and eventually coming up with a guideline,” Palma said.
“The idea is responsible voting, active involvement especially the lay people. As a general rule Church leaders should be non partisan, but lay people should feel involved. The Pope used the words, ‘should meddle in politics.’ They should campaign for those they believe will deliver the good for the country,” he said.
For the prelate, Catholics must tap on their conscience, faith, and beliefs when choosing the right candidate.
Although the Church will not dictate a member’s politicial choice, the Church will guide its faithful through the discernment process.
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