Church launches voting guide

By Perseus Echeminada, The Philippine Star

Posted at Apr 22 2013 07:21 AM | Updated as of Apr 22 2013 03:21 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Catholic Church formally launched yesterday the Kilatisin ang Karapatdapat na Kandidato (KKK), a video presentation to guide voters in choosing the right candidates in the coming May 13 elections.

The two-minute video presentation to be shown in churches after Sunday mass reminds the faithful on the sanctity of life from birth to death, the sanctity of marriage, responsibility of the parents for the sex education of their children, and if candidates are advocates of the Catholic belief or not.

The KKK is part of the education campaign to mobilize the Vote Catholic Movement, which Caceres Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona launched on Palm Sunday last month to call on the Catholic faithful to participate in the coming polls after being enlightened by the teachings of the Church.

He said Catholics should take part in the election and cast the Catholic vote that is free, informed, and evangelized.

Tirona started the voters’ education program to remind the people of their duty to vote according to their conscience and based on the doctrines of the Catholic faith.

He said the voters’ education program is the archdiocese’s response to the challenge to the Catholic faith.

“As disciples of Christ, it is impossible for us to follow the path of holiness if we turn a deaf ear to the call for political action. Our Catholic faith calls upon us to bring Jesus to society and society to Jesus,” he added.

Tirona said a Catholic who votes according to the Gospel not only participates in building the nation, but also helps expand the kingdom of God.

“Through a Catholic vote, our faith bears fruit in our public decisions and political choices,” he stressed.

He said the Catholic vote is free when the voter is not influenced by any politician but solely by the desire to bring God to the world.

A Catholic vote is informed, he said, when electorates vote with a clear understanding of the faith and a vigorous effort to bring a Catholic presence in society.

He also said a Catholic vote is evangelized when choices are made according to the values of the Gospel.

“The Gospel is our moral standard and God’s love for all His children is our moral compass,” the archbishop added.

Explaining why the education program was launched on Palm Sunday, Tirona said it implies entry to a transformed society.

“As Jesus himself, in fulfilling His mission, suffered in the hands of men, we, too, will be met with much difficulty and pain. But the promise on Palm Sunday is not lost on all of us - Easter will come,” he added.

Tirona called on the people to take action and give their full support for voters’ education in parishes, schools and organizations.

He also urged the youth to make their voice heard and with their “energy and idealism bring in fresh hope to a generation that has been hurt and frustrated in the struggle for truth and justice.”

“Let a Catholic vote be the mark of your generation. Demand for a Catholic vote your voice, unafraid and untainted, will surely be heard,” he said.

Tirona said a Catholic vote is faith based on love and in the service of the poorest, the weakest, and the least important in society.

Meanwhile, Tuguegarao Archbishop Sergio Utleg issued a pastoral letter yesterday calling on Catholics to reject political dynasties and candidates who have taken positions against the fundamental teachings of the Church such as supporting the Reproductive Health (RH) Law. – With Rainier Allan Ronda