Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines non-partisan, urges wise vote

AS the country holds national and local elections, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has clarified they will leave partisan politics to the lay people.

CBCP President and Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles particularly refuted reports that they endorsed a number of senatorial candidates.

“The CBCP did not make any such endorsement. Bishops and priests are not allowed to do that. That is clearly partisan politics. The CBCP continues to appeal to all Filipinos: Vote wisely in the coming elections. Let us continue to pray for peaceful, credible and honest elections,” he said.

Following their plenary assembly in January, the bishops urged the faithful and lay organizations to form “discernment circles” to examine who are the best candidates.

Saying that Christians must engage the political process, the bishops stressed that “this means that they can campaign for good candidates.”

As a result, lay groups like the Council of the Laity of the Philippines, People’s Choice Movement, and even the Church’s Social Action Network endorsed specific senatorial candidates.

Meanwhile, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle shared to the lay people the process of discernment that PCM had undergone.

While not directly endorsing candidates, he said that lay groups may take the PCM initiative “as a guide to their own discernment.”