Aymond gives advice for voting
Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 25, 2012 18:10
Gregory Aymond, archbishop of New Orleans, was invited by Thomas Ryan, director for the Institute for Ministry; to speak about the context of the document “Faithful Citizenship” and address catholics about how to form a consciousness when voting as a part of the institute’s free monthly webinar.
Ryan believes it was important for Loyola community to be educated about the Catholic Church’s stance on voting.
“It’s important for catholics to be well formed in their faith so that it can inform their voting,” Ryan said.
As a quick glance at the Bishops’ “Faithful Citizenship” makes clear, the richness of the catholic faith has important implications for a range of issues, Ryan said.
Aymond began the discussion with reflections regarding how Jesus Christ affirmed the good of political life. Following this was a discussion about the document “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” the United States bishops’ document on public life and elections.
In 2011, the US catholic bishops updated the published document with an introduction that reminds catholics why the bishops have issued this document.
The bishops advise catholics “to contribute to civil and respectful public dialogue, and to shape their choices in the coming election in the light of catholic teaching” in the updated document. The document also highlights what US bishops identify as “fundamental problems” that are significant to the upcoming election.
The webinar lasted an hour and was moderated by Ryan.
“It presents the broad range of catholic teaching — from the right to life to the rights of workers and the care for creation,” Ryan said.
Aymond believes the document is significant because everyone has to vote as a person of faith and integrity. Aymond stressed that in catholic tradition, being responsible as a citizen and participating in the political process is important because that ensures the beliefs of the church are heard. This document also ensures catholic values have a voice in the political arena today. Aymond believes voting is a moral obligation.
As for students, Aymond reiterated how important the responsibility of voting is.
“We are all called to register to vote as soon as we are of proper age, and I encourage all students to take this very seriously,” Aymond said
Aymond reminded catholics that the goal is to examine carefully the platform of each candidate and compare that to the gospel values of Jesus and the teachings of the church. Then people can vote for the candidate that has the greater probability and possibility of moving the onward toward those goals.
For those who missed the webinar, it will be available on Loyola’s Institute for Ministry’s archive.
“I think it’s simply marvelous that a bishop would be willing and to directly talk to people and hear back from them; this is a great opportunity and the bishop is willing to enter into dialogue with his own people rather than simply tell them what they must hold is a great tribute to this bishop and to the success of Vatican II,” Edward Vacek, religious studies professor, said.
Nhi Tieu can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org