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Goa church urges Catholics to vote for candidates with 'secular' credentials

In a circular issued ahead of the May 7 voting in the coastal state which has two Lok Sabha seats, Archbishop of Goa and Daman, Filipe Neri Cardinal Ferrao, exhorted Catholics and other citizens to fulfil their democratic responsibility by exercising their franchise in the upcoming elections.
Last Updated : 16 April 2024, 18:08 IST
Last Updated : 16 April 2024, 18:08 IST

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Panaji: Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Goa's influential Catholic church on Tuesday appealed to its followers to cast their vote for candidates with "secular" credentials in the state who are truly committed to uphold the values enshrined in the Constitution.

In a circular issued ahead of the May 7 voting in the coastal state which has two Lok Sabha seats, Archbishop of Goa and Daman, Filipe Neri Cardinal Ferrao, exhorted Catholics and other citizens to fulfil their democratic responsibility by exercising their franchise in the upcoming elections.

He requested priests, chaplains and superiors of religious houses in Goa to organise special prayer services on May 3 and May 5 for the genuine success of the elections.

"The Church's obligation to participate in nation-building and in shaping the moral character of the society is a requirement of our faith. It is in this spirit that all eligible Catholic voters need to exercise their franchise on May 7, 2024, casting their vote for persons with secular credentials, who are truly committed to work for the good of all the people and to uphold the values enshrined in our Constitution," the Archbishop said.

The head of the Church in Goa said it is universally recognized, especially in a democracy, that the responsibility to make choices in political life rests with each individual, guided by a properly formed conscience.

In the Catholic tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life a moral obligation, he emphasised.

In the light of this teaching, it is clear Catholics moving out with family and friends on a holiday or even going on a pilgrimage on election day, thereby abstaining from participating in the voting process, would be not only doing a disservice to the nation, but failing seriously in their important civic responsibility, said Archbishop Ferrao.

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Published 16 April 2024, 18:08 IST

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