Archbishop Chaput urges Catholics not to vote 'on autopilot'


Philadelphia, Pa., Aug 15, 2016 CNA.- In his latest column for the Philly Catholic Archdiocesan paper, Archbishop Chaput shared some of his personal thoughts on the upcoming presidential election, and implored Catholics to take the time to pray and form their consciences before voting. This year is a particularly interesting one for Catholics, Archbishop Chaput said, because both major candidates for president “have astonishing flaws.”

The archbishop, himself a long-time registered Independent, said this realization is both “depressing and liberating at the same time.”

“Depressing, because it’s proof of how polarized the nation has become. Liberating, because for the honest voter, it’s much easier this year to ignore the routine tribal loyalty chants of both the Democratic and Republican camps,” he wrote.

“Both major candidates are – what’s the right word? so problematic – that neither is clearly better than the other.”

That’s why it’s crucial in this election year for Catholic voters to take time in silence, prayer, and formative reading in order to discern what the best course of action will be when they enter the voting booth in November, he said.

“Note that by ‘Catholic,’ I mean people who take their faith seriously; people who actually believe what the Catholic faith holds to be true; people who place it first in their loyalty, thoughts and actions; people who submit their lives to Jesus Christ, to Scripture and to the guidance of the community of belief we know as the Church,” he wrote.

One of the most important things Catholics can do is to pray, the archbishop said.

“And prayer involves more than mumbling a Hail Mary before we pull the voting booth lever for someone we see as the lesser of two evils,” he added. “Prayer is a conversation, an engagement of the soul with God. It involves listening for God’s voice and educating our consciences.”

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