Circular Letter of the Administrative Council
of the Catholic Welfare Organization on Elections
Our beloved Philippines is once again at the threshold of nationwide campaign for the highest elective positions of the land. Soon we shall again cast our votes at the polls. And whether we have ever thought of this or not, our individual votes will help mould the future of our country, either for better or for worse.
Please understand that this Circular Letter is not aimed to bolster any Political Party. We have a higher aim. We wish to call your attention to the fact that love of Country demands that we take active part in everything that concerns our national stability. And the stability of any nation depends on its observance of the laws of God and of His divinely established Church.
The immortal words of Pope Leo XIII ring out clear and unmistakable in our ears: “We have, therefore, to love our country which has given us this mortal life, but it follows of necessity that we should have a greater love for the Church, to which we owe the life that will endure forever; because spiritual good is rightfully preferred to that of the body, and our duties to God have a much greater sanction than those which we owe to our fellowmen.” (Enc. Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890).
On the other hand, our present Holy Father, Pope Pius XII enjoins all the faithful to exercise their rights at the polls, when His Holiness says: “It is strictly obligatory for whoever has the right to vote, man or woman, to take part in the elections.” (Alloc. to the Lenten Preachers in Rome, March 16, 1946).
Our stand, therefore, must be clear to everybody. If love of country is premised on the love of God and of Holy Mother Church, just as all power comes from God, according to those solemn words of Our Lord, “Thou wouldst have no power at all over me were it not given thee from above” (John XIX, II), it follows that to vote for those who would make our country a free and peaceful land to live under the beneficent Providence of God would be our most solemn duty.
For these reasons, We entreat you, dearly beloved in Christ, for the sake of our Motherland and of our Holy Religion:
• First, to offer prayers and special mortifications, beseeching the God of Peace to guide us during these days of deliberation and enlighten our minds about the individual merits of each candidate; Second, to organize special devotions for this intention in your respective parishes, and to use the Official Prayer which we have ordered printed for the occasion; Third, to interest yourselves and all those you come in contact with, to study and investigate the individual merits of each candidate, irrespective of party affliliation, principally from the moral and religious points of view; and Fourth, to cast your votes for them who are thoroughly and sincerely Catholic in their private as well as in their public lives.
Having thus satisfied ourselves with the consciousness of a sacred duty timely performed, on our part, and of the same duty clearly presented to all of you for your consideration and execution, We end this Circular Letter blessing you one and all, In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
Given in Manila, on the Feast of All the Saints,
on the 1st of November, in the year of Our Lord, 1955.
(Sgd.)+RUFINO J. SANTOS, D.D
Archbishop of Manila
(Sgd.)+LINO GONZAGA, D.D.
Bishop of Palo
(Sgd.)+ALEJANDRO OLALIA, D.D.
Bishop of Lipa
(Sgd.)+JULIO R. ROSALES, D.D.
Archbishop of Cebu
(Sgd.)+MANUEL YAP, D.D.
Bishop of Bacolod
(Sgd.)+HERNANDO ANTIPORDA, D.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of Manila
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines
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Circular Letter of the Administrative Council of the Catholic Welfare Organization on Elections