ANN ARBOR, MI - Reaffirming its constant teaching in defense of moral truth, the Vatican issued Thursday a "Doctrinal Note" directed particularly toward Catholic politicians and lay faithful who participate in the political life of democratic societies. The Thomas More Law Center welcomed the unambiguous message concerning the responsibility of political leaders and role of Christianity in public life.
The note, issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, began by recognizing the example of Saint Thomas More, who "refused to compromise, never forsaking the constant fidelity to legitimate authority...taught by his life and death that man cannot be separated from God, nor politics from morality." The note went on to remind all Christian politicians, "a well- formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals." Specifically, the document addressed laws concerning abortion and euthanasia, the rights of human embryos, same-sex marriage, parental rights in education, and religious freedom.
The document also addressed the responsibility of democratic societies to respect the "engagement of Christianity in public and political life." Those who would "view the moral duty of Christians to act according to their conscience as something that disqualifies them from political life...would be guilty of a form of intolerant secularism," the Vatican noted. The document further observed, "the marginalization of Christianity, moreover, would not bode well for the future of society...indeed, it would threaten the very spiritual and cultural foundations of civilization."
Richard Thompson, Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center commented, "this statement by the Catholic Church reaffirms the moral duty of politicians and all Christian citizens to uphold moral truth. Here in America, politicians and groups like the ACLU are working overtime to suppress the role of Christianity in our public life. The Thomas More Law Center was founded to respond to this threat, and stands ready to protect and defend the religious freedom of Christians, the institution of the family, and the sanctity of human life, in the courts."
Source: Brian Burch, The Thomas More Law Center (www.thomasmore.org), January 17, 2003. 734-827-2001.