Catholic Bishops across New York State are urging Catholics to vote in this November's elections, but they are asking students to make sure their parents are registered to vote. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley reports the leader of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo met with 8th grade students at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament School in Depew Wednesday.
Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone appearing before an 8th grade Social Studies explaining how important it is for adults to be educated voters.
Students are encouraged to make sure adults in their homes are registered to vote this fall. But Bishiop Malone insists it's not the mixing 'politics and religion'.
The Catholic leader stresses they do not endorse any political candidate.
“What we’re all about is conscience formation. That a Catholic going into the voting booth has an obligation, not only to vote but to prepare to vote based on the teachings of Christ and the Church. And wherever that leads them as they vote is in their own conscience,” said Bishop Malone.
Catholic Schools Superintendent Sister Carol Cimino said they are sending 9,000 students home with voter registration forms and a letter.
“Encouraging parents that if they were not registered to vote, to vote, and to vote their consciences. Because for years and years and years we’ve all gone to Albany and we’ve talked to legislators about the issues that are important to us as Catholics. This year, we’re going on the other end to say to our Catholics, our Catholic people—particularly those who choose to send their children to Catholic school—to say well, let’s take the other approach and let’s look at how we vote as Catholic Christians and take that approach and say, well, we are a force to be reckoned with,” Cimino explained.
Some candidates’ views on abortion and same sex marriage are against the Catholic faith, but Malone said it is up to Catholics to remain mindful of the Church's teachings.
“Just to get people more involved in the political process. Again, never pointing them in the direction of one or another candidate or party. That’s not what we do. But we do raise the issues of our time as the Church sees them and we try to articulate that so people can form their consciences.”
Given the complexity and attention paid to this year's historic Presidential contest, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops offers on-line guidance called www.faithfulcitizenship.org.