Alberta Catholics urged to take part in election

  • May 25, 2023

Catholics have a moral obligation to get involved in the democratic process, Alberta’s bishops said in a May 16 pastoral letter.

As Albertans head to the polls May 29 to choose their next government, the bishops have called on Catholics to make an informed and moral choice when casting their ballots.

The letter doesn’t choose between the governing United Conservative Party or the opposition New Democrats, but asks Catholics to be guided at the ballot box by “choices that accord with the Gospel’s vision for the right ordering of society.”

“By means of this letter, we offer to our Catholic faithful a reminder of important principles and concerns, which stem from the social doctrine of the Church,” said the letter signed by Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith, Calgary Bishop William McGrattan, St. Paul Bishop Gary Franken, Archbishop Gerard Pettipas of Grouard-McLennan and Bishop David Motiuk of the Ukrainian Eparchy of Edmonton.

The bishops made note of seven “important principles and concerns”:

  • solidarity, as we are one human family and elected officials need to “work with us all as peacemakers in our communities, province and nation”;
  • seeking together the common good by creating an environment “that enables citizens to exercise their rights and fulfill their corresponding duties.” The bishops advocate for support of Catholic institutions in the service of the common good;
  • freedom of conscience and religion, which elected officials need to respect and uphold;
  • the dignity and sanctity of every human life, first and foremost being the “right to life from conception to natural death”;
  • concern for the poor and vulnerable, including addressing homelessness, welcoming immigrants and refugees and caring for those with mental illness and terminal and/or debilitating illness;
  • walking with Indigenous people “along the pathway of truth, healing, justice, reconciliation and hope”; and
  • caring for God’s creation, “which God has entrusted to us.”

The bishops asked Catholics to join with them in praying for those elected to public office.

“They are assuming a heavy responsibility, often at great personal sacrifice,” the bishops said. “May they be granted the strength and wisdom to govern in accord with the precept of charity in service of the life and well-being of everyone.”

Please support The Catholic Register

Unlike many media companies, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our website. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith-based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.