CFC-FFL Community Guidelines
Philippine National Elections on May 9, 2016
May the peace and love of Christ be with you all!
Attendant to our Bishops’ Pre-election Pastoral Letters, by Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas, dated April 14 and 30, 2016, and our community’s Servant Council directive to discuss this April 30 CBCP Pastoral Letter in the coming household meetings, below are our community’s practical guidelines to assist in our choice of whom to vote for. We enjoin all to seriously consider these simplified implementing guidelines on these CBCP Pastoral Letters, consistent with our identity as Couples for Christ-Foundation for Family and Life, in the exercise of our personal discernment.
• On non-negotiables: human life, marriage and family, religious liberty (Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, 83)
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI specified these non-negotiable values as the foundation for Christians in politics. He articulated these as follows: respect for human life, its defense from conception to natural death, the family built upon marriage between a man and a woman, the freedom to educate one’s children and the promotion of the common good in all its forms.
• On an ever-groaning clamor for ” the choice of a lesser Evil” or the “principle of a double effect” (Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1731 – 38, 1749 -61, 1954 -86).
Current circumstances have created a seeming predicament to vote for the imperfect candidate, and thus we hear the so-called voting choice according to the “lesser of two evils”. We must be guided by the Church Magisterium’s principles as follows:
1. We can never choose evil over good. Our Christian dictum prevents us from choosing any Evil. We must always choose according to moral principles as guided by the Pastors of the Church;
2. It is a moral evil to vote for a candidate whose principles and platform of government run contrary to the natural law and moral absolutes;
3. The good effect (the end) must not be caused by the evil effect (the means);
4. We must be concerned about the degree to which our vote, through a bad judgment, may contribute to the cooperation in the evil which a candidate espouses.
We must exercise due diligence and weigh all the factors as mentioned above for making our choices. We vote according to a well-informed conscience, diligent study of the candidates and the prudent knowledge of the consequences of our choices.
It seems that Filipinos are even more divided today in the choice of candidates, especially for the highest position in the land. We enjoin everyone to practice fraternal charity and mercy in advocating or even campaigning for their preferred candidates. Do not contribute to division. Do not malign your brethren for their choices. Do not look at the splinter in the other candidate’s eye while missing the plank in your own candidate’s eye.
In closing, we highlight the CBCP Pastoral Statement of April 30, that we, as CFC-FFL members, become “Prophets of Truth and Servants of Unity“, by being a prayerful and discerning people of God, as we exercise our civil and moral duties on May 9.
God bless our beloved Motherland.
In unity with our brethren and for the service of Our Mother Church,
The Philippines Servant Council