Church is non-partisan – but on social and moral issues is never neutral

The Catholic Church ‘can and will never be neutral’ in the face of social and moral issues, even though it is otherwise non-partisan.

Caritas Philippines national director Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo (pictured) spoke out about the Church’s position on social and moral issues in a published statement on Monday.

“We will proclaim what is true, just and right. That is our moral obligation” he said.

“That is why we will speak and act in favour of human rights, the sacredness of life, ecology and the truth, among others”.

Bagaforo issued the statement as a response to accusations that the clergy is meddling in politics.

The 2022 Philippine general election will take place on May 9, 2022, for executive and legislative branches of the government – national, provincial and local.

Many bishops have spoken out against issues such as the war on drugs and corruption allegations during President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.

Their commentaries have prompted calls of meddling, particularly from the administration’s supporters who say the Church and State should be separated.

Bagaforo said the Catholic Church will continue to maintain its stance as a non-partisan organisation and is urging all diocesan social action centres to remain the same.

He is encouraging Catholic laity and the faithful to choose its political candidate based on what they call a LASER test (lifestyle, action, supporters, election conduct and reputation).

“It is our sacred duty to know our candidates well”, Bagaforo said.

“Let our choices be a reflection of our life-earned values. Let us choose who among them will help us be better, not the one who promises only instant gratification”.

The Council of the Laity of the Philippines in an unprecedented move has since endorsed vice president Leni Robredo’s presidential bid.

Maria Leonor ‘Leni’ Gerona Robredo is a Filipino lawyer, politician and social activist who is the 14th and incumbent vice-president of the Philippines.


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