German Bishops Influence Catholic Vote

BERLIN, SEPT. 2, 2005 ( German bishops are urging Catholics in their country to vote this month with a conviction to defend life and the family, and solidarity with the poor.

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In a pastoral letter issued by the episcopal conference, the bishops highlight the «present-day challenges that are important for the future» of Germany.

The letter, which will be read this Sunday in all of the Catholic parishes, describes as «unacceptable» the number of unemployed in the country : «Although no policy can promise work for all, it can create the economic framework for it.»

The letter also stated that it hopes that the Sept. 18 elections will serve to defend the family and to create «a society that likes children.»

In particular, they remind the faithful about the Church’s opposition to equating marriage and «other forms of living together,» and the ethical condemnation of abortion, euthanasia and the manipulation of embryos.

The state must «protect the dignity of the person regardless of whether that person is strong or weak, healthy or sick, born or unborn,» or «an invalid,» said the bishops.

Furthermore, the letter urges Germany to go beyond its borders to «assume responsibilities for others,» and work against poverty worldwide.

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