Venezuelan Cardinal encourages free and courageous vote

Caracas, Venezuela, Apr 5, 2013 / 12:17 pm (CNA).- Cardinal Jorge Urosa of Caracas, Venezuela and his auxiliary bishops are encouraging Venezuelans to vote freely, courageously and based on their conscience in the upcoming presidential election.

“Let us remember that one’s vote is private,” the bishops said in a recent statement. “Only God will know who we vote for.”

“Let us reject any improper threats,” they continued. “A freely cast vote is a right we must exercise with courage and in accord with our conscience.”

Voting is a serious moral obligation, the bishops explained, because it strengthens democracy and ensures the wellbeing of Venezuelans, without any exclusion or discrimination.

They urged that there be no violence of any form during the final days of the campaign and on Election Day. Everyone, “especially the agencies and officials of the State,” has the duty to safeguard public order, and the results of the election should be accepted in a climate of peace and tranquility, they said.

The bishops called on the National Electoral Commission to ensure impartiality and transparency in the elections.

“Let us pray intensely to the Lord for the maternal intercession of Mary Most Holy, Our Lady of Coromoto, the patroness of Venezuela, that the Lord will help us resolve our differences peacefully and live as brothers and sisters,” they said.

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