Slovaks Urged to Shun Candidates Who Attack Christian Values

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia, SEPT. 20, 2002 ( The Catholic bishops of Slovakia published a letter on the eve of the general elections, calling on the faithful to shun candidates who do not respect fundamental values.

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Today and Saturday, Slovaks are going to the polls for the third time since the country’s independence from the Czech Republic. Observers expect many voters will skip the elections.

The bishops’ letter, which was read in churches, reminded the faithful that “the elections are not a magic wand.”

“Nevertheless,” it said, “in the present context, this event, in which the country’s direction is being decided, is very important.” Catholics comprise about 3.6 million of Slovakia’s 5.4 million people.

The episcopal conference stresses the moral obligation to participate in the elections “because in abstaining, the candidate that the voter rejects is favored.”

“We are concerned over the fact that those who do not respect Christian and human values might place themselves in the leadership of our country,” the bishops’ letter continues. It appeals to the faithful to participate in the elections “responsibly, with awareness and knowledge.”

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