PASTORAL LETTER TO PRIESTS AND FAITHFUL
OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF MANILA
April 22, 2007
Election is a process of choosing leaders, who, with the people, will seek the common good of all. Thus, the Church encourages and supports "the citizens in making political choices to the governed the possibility of both electing and holding accountable those who govern them and of replacing them through peaceful means when appropriate" (Centisimus Annus,46).
Choosing and holding the leaders accountable to the governed is a critically important choice that must follow moral guidance.
The sacredness of an election recalls to us that votes are not for sale or to be bartered with favors. Neither can a vote be cast under any form of coercion. The search is for the best possible leader.
1. The best possible leader is a person who loves and fears God.
2. One who is guided by a well-formed conscience, always sensitive to the choice of what is good.
3. One who lives and serves consistently with moral principles.
4. One who is honest, non-violent and compassionate.
5. A person who respects and protects the limited sources in nature and requires others to do the same.
6. One who is ready to sacrifice personal, party or group interest for the sake of unity, peace and integral development of the country and the people.
In the past, enormous sufferings resulted from political ambitions, maneuvers and group adventurism resulting in the country's poor becoming poorer.
Pray for guidance because God may softly suggest in prayer that this time what the country needs are moral, humble and repentant trustworthy leaders who can lead and move the country closer to its vision.
We are grateful to and encourage the teachers, the men and women of the Armed Forces, the youth and volunteer citizens who help the task of COMELEC in ensuring that votes are properly cast, accurately counted at the precincts, are authentically reported to the municipalities and cities, are forwarded safely and untampered to the COMELEC Provincial and National Offices.
May Mary, our Mother, guide us in our choice of trustworthy leaders and bring us to Her Son, Jesus, the only Way, Truth and Life.
GAUDENCIO B. CARDINAL ROSALES
Archbishop of Manila