New Zealand Catholic Bishops warn of the danger of voter apathy

Even when the choices to be made seem difficult or the questions to be asked too tough, are we tackling some of the big challenges facing us as a nation and as part of a global community?

With the 2017 General Election in just over two months, this is the message of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops in their 2017 Election Statement, Step out and Vote.

Bishop Patrick Dunn, President of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference says “this is an opportunity for us all to reflect on the big challenges facing our society and ask the tough questions, both of ourselves and our candidates. Last year while speaking at an international youth event in Poland, Pope Francis warned the young of being couch potatoes and leaving it to others to decide our future.”

The Bishops’ Election Statement, which is going out to churches this week, focuses on what they see as key considerations in shaping New Zealand’s future.

Bishop Dunn says “what we’re not doing is giving preference to or offering opinions on political parties. We are, however candid on what we see as non-negotiables in a vision for our country. These include the provision of affordable housing, ensuring a safe society, a respect for life, the nurturing of our environment and the care of refugees and asylum seekers.”

He goes on to comment, “we acknowledge the different paths in working towards a just and peaceful society but, at the same time, echo the words of Pope Francis that an election is not simply a spectator sport. It is a wonderful opportunity and indeed our responsibility to decide who we feel best to steer the ship and guide the policy on the future course of this country. This is a time for us to reflect, discuss and debate on what sort of society we want New Zealand to be.”

Stand up, uphold the common good of our nation, choose wisely, and your vote will be a blessing for our nation.