February 8, 2016
RE: Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting
To our beloved parish priests, team moderators and school directors:
As we prepare our Catholic faithful for the significant event of our national elections this coming May 9, it is our Christian duty to insure that the values of the Gospel are lived as we conduct this civic duty. This split between the faith which many profess and their daily lives deserves to be counted among the more serious errors of our age. . . . The Christian who neglects his temporal duties, neglects his duties toward his neighbor and even God, and jeopardizes his eternal salvation. (GS 43).
I admonish our parishes and Catholic schools to be actively involved in the PPCRV by fully engaging in the training of volunteers and providing logistical support for the PPCRV programs for the duration of the election period.
In order to upgrade the process of discerning the candidates for whom to vote, the schools and parishes will serve well the common good by organizing candidates’ fora and conducting spiritual recollections for those who aspire for public office.
I am enclosing two pastoral resources from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines which you can use for your voters education and candidates’ formation—Being Eucharistic in Life and Deeds and Wise as Serpents, Innocent as Doves.
Let us be guided by the challenge of Pope Emeritus Benedict VXI “there is a need for authentically Christian politicians but, even more so, for lay faithful who witness to Christ and the Gospel in the civil and political community (Address on May 21, 2010).
+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS
Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan
The Roman Catholic
Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan
(Central Pangasinan, Philippines)