Bishop Stephen Parkes Issues Statement Regarding Elections 2020

Bishop Stephen Parkes Issues Statement Regarding Elections 2020 October 24, 2020

As we prepare for Election Day 2020, it is of critical importance that we make decisions based upon an informed conscience and our own personal prayer and reflection. I encourage you to fully participate in the election process but also to be aware of the critical issues of our times. Every vote is important and the decisions that we make today affect not only ourselves but future generations.

…en español abajo…

As a Church we do not endorse candidates and there is no political party that fully embraces the totality of our Catholic beliefs. Therefore it is important for us to be aware of the important elements of our Catholic social teaching for living a life of holiness, creating a just society and truly building the Kingdom of God.

These issues include:

-the life and dignity of the human person,

-a call to family-community and participation,

-our rights and responsibilities,

-the option for the poor and vulnerable,

-the dignity of work and the rights of workers,

-solidarity and unity as a people and

-our concern and care for creation.

As your Bishop, I encourage you to learn more about our call to faithful citizenship and the formation of an informed conscience by visiting the website for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, usccb.org, and clicking on the link for faithful citizenship.

Prayer and reflection upon the Sacred Scriptures is also important as we make decisions about candidates and issues on the ballot. A good place to start is Matthew Chapter 22, where Jesus is presented with a coin. He asks whose image is on the coin to which the people respond: Caesar. Jesus reminds the crowd then to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. My friends we are not coins. We are people who have the ability to reason and to make good and holy decisions. Upon every human soul is imprinted the image of God who loves us and cares for us. Therefore, we turn to God, in whose image we are all made for help in discerning the issues that are important for the common good and not just to us personally. We give to God our whole selves.

The vision of our Founding Fathers was to protect the undeniable and unalienable rights including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As you prepare to vote, please reflect upon how we continue to preserve these rights. Specifically and of the highest priority is that of life and concern for the most vulnerable of our society. We must defend the dignity of every human person from conception to natural death. Of preeminent concern is the child in the womb. We must also care for the sick, the elderly and the incarcerated. How will your vote be a voice for those who have a voice but whose voice is not heard because no one is listening?

Liberty includes the beautiful freedoms that we enjoy in our country. We live in a country that is unique, where freedoms have been enjoyed for over 240 years. Many come to our shores from all over the world seeking something special. Our own ancestors did – including mine who came to this country seeking a new life, filled with hopes and dreams. They found freedom and safety here that they did not know in their homeland. How do we continue to welcome the stranger and preserve the gift of freedom with responsibility?

And finally, the pursuit of happiness. Each day we are called not only to do better but to be better as we create a holy and just society that is built not on our selfish desires but on the daily pursuit of discovering beauty, understanding truth and inspiring goodness. When we seek to be the best that we can be, we experience joy and happiness in our relationship with God and others. This lifelong journey is a pursuit that is worth every effort. How will your decisions in this election be an affirmation of seeking the pursuit of happiness today and for future generations?

Please know that I pray for you during this time of election and always. I also remember your loved ones and your intentions. Please pray for me as your Bishop and for the Priests, Deacons and Religious that serve faithfully in the Diocese of Savannah. We may not see one another each day but may we meet each day in our prayers. May we Rejoice in the Lord always.

The Most Reverend Stephen D. Parkes

Bishop of Savannah

 

DECLARACION PARA LAS ELECCIONES 2020

Al preparamos para las próximas elecciones nacionales, es de vital importancia que tomemos decisiones basadas en una conciencia informada junto con la oración y la reflexión personal. Los animo a aquellos que puedan, que participen plenamente en el proceso electoral, y a la vez, a ser conscientes de los temas críticos de nuestros tiempos. Cada voto es importante y las decisiones que tomamos hoy no solo nos afectan a nosotros sino a las generaciones futuras.

La Iglesia no respalda a ningún candidato especifico y no existe ningún partido político que abarque la totalidad de nuestras creencias católicas. Por lo tanto, es importante que seamos conscientes de los elementos importantes de nuestra doctrina social católica para vivir una vida de santidad, crear una sociedad justa y construir verdaderamente el Reino de Dios.

Los temas de importancia incluyen:

-La vida y dignidad de la persona humana

-El llamado a la familia y comunidad

-Nuestros derechos y responsabilidades

-La opción por los pobres y vulnerables

-La dignidad del trabajo y los derechos de trabajadores

-Solidaridad y unidad como pueblo

-Nuestro cuidado de la creación

La visión de los Fundadores de los Estados Unidos fue de proteger tres derechos innegables: la vida, la libertad y la búsqueda de la felicidad. Al acercarse estas elecciones, reflexionen cómo continuamos a preservar estos derechos. En concreto, el tema con máxima prioridad es el de la vida y la preocupación por los más vulnerables de nuestra sociedad. Debemos defender la dignidad de toda persona humana desde la concepción hasta la muerte natural. De preocupación preeminente son los niños no nacidos. También debemos cuidar de los enfermos, los ancianos y los encarcelados. ¿Cómo será su voto una voz para aquellos que no tienen una voz?

La libertad incluye las hermosas libertades que disfrutamos en nuestro país. Vivimos en un país único y muchos vienen a nuestras costas en búsqueda de algo especial. Nuestros propios antepasados lo hicieron, incluidos los míos. Muchos vienen a este país en busca de una nueva vida con esperanzas y sueños. Aquí encuentran libertad y seguridad que no conocían en su tierra natal. ¿Cómo damos la bienvenida al inmigrante y preservamos el don de la libertad

Y finalmente, la búsqueda de la felicidad. Cada día estamos llamados a ser mejores, creando una sociedad santa y justa que se basa no en nuestros propios deseos, sino en la búsqueda diaria de descubrir la belleza, comprender la verdad e inspirar la bondad. Cuando buscamos ser lo mejor que podemos ser, experimentamos gozo y felicidad en nuestra relación con Dios y con los demás. ¿Serán sus decisiones en estas elecciones afirmaciones de la búsqueda de la felicidad para generaciones futuras?

Sepan que siempre rezo ante Dios por ustedes especialmente durante este tiempo de elecciones. También recuerdo a sus seres queridos y sus intenciones. Oren por mí como su obispo y por los sacerdotes, diáconos y religiosos que sirven fielmente en la Diócesis de Savannah. Puede que no nos veamos todos los días, pero encontrémonos todos los días en nuestras oraciones. Que nos Alegrémonos en el Señor Siempre.

Reverendísimo Stephen D. Parkes

Obispo de Savannah

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