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Diocese of Metuchen

Office of the Bishop

October 18, 2000

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

For two thousand years, our world has been greatly blessed through Christ and His Church. As Americans, we thank God for our unique freedom and abundance; the toil of many prophets and patriots has enabled the principles of our Faith and the ideals of our nation to endure. As heirs of these gifts, we must secure them for future generations, especially the promise that all people, from the first moment of life, will be treated equally and endowed with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Through the presidential, congressional, and local elections on November 7, we can stand up for our nation and our Faith, and participate in decisions that will radically affect our communities, our nation, and our world. Our vote can help us recommit our nation to the respect for all human life, the support of marriage and the family, greater prosperity for all, and the restoration of morality in our private lives and public institutions. Some may 'vote their pocketbooks,' but I urge you to 'vote your conscience,' since the consequences of these elections are too important for such a narrow concern. After analyzing and praying over the issues, vote for the candidates you believe will truly make the world a better place.

Some may be discouraged by the particular candidates available; others feel that none adequately represents all of our concerns, especially our commitment to the right to life from the moment of conception until natural death. However, by not voting, we cede control of our nation to those who lack or oppose our moral commitments. Recall the traditional Catholic principle of choosing the lesser evil; when faced with two options, neither of which is entirely good, one may choose the lesser evil. This enables us to give morality a voice and to vote for whoever will best promote our Christian concerns.

As a sign of our dependence on the Lord, I have asked each deanery to host a pre-election Holy Hour before Christ, the Bread of Life; consult your parish for specific details. I urge each family to recite a daily Rosary prior to the elections; we beseech Mary, Immaculately Conceived, the Patroness of our country, to intercede for us. And I have declared the day before Election Day, November 6, a Day of Prayer and Fasting. Through intense prayers and acts of self-denial, I ask all Catholics to witness to all our brothers and sisters about the profound moral significance of the decisions being made that day.

Thomas Jefferson wrote that "Political interest can never be separated in the long run from moral right." Jefferson realized what many in our day try to forget-that moral goodness is not simply a peculiar concern of Christians but, rather, the only path to lasting national greatness. On this Election Day, I urge you to combine the best insights of your religious Faith and national hopes - for life, for families, for social justice, and for America. Please, vote your consciences.

With prayerful best wishes, I am

Sincerely in Our Lord,

Most Rev. Vincent De Paul Breen

Bishop of Metuchen

Priests for Life
PO Box 141172 • Staten Island, NY 10314
Tel. 888-735-3448, (718) 980-4400 • Fax 718-980-6515
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