Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of January 16, 2006
Election forum will give Catholics a voice
By GLEN ARGAN
The CWL wants Catholics and other Edmontonians to have a crack at making a conscientiousness decision on whom to support in the Jan. 23 federal election.
So the league's Bizarre Women's Group has invited major political parties to send candidates to take part in a forum Tuesday, Jan. 17 at St. Joseph's Basilica at 7 p.m.
The group has invited moral theologian Rebecca Davis-Mathias to give an introductory talk on family, human life and freedom of expression.
After Davis-Mathias has her say, candidates from the Liberal, Conservative, New Democratic and Green parties will be invited to give a four-minute response. Then, there will be questions from the floor.
"We felt many contentious issues have been swept through Parliament," said Charissa McKay, one of the event organizers. "It was important that people make a good conscientious decision" on who they will vote for.
McKay said the CWL is concerned about human life and the family and now also about what she sees as "potential muzzling" of the Church's voice in the public arena.
As for the issues such as same-sex marriage and euthanasia, "There seems to be no opportunity for any input," she said.
John MacDonald, head of the Edmonton Archdiocese's Family Life Office, likes what he sees in the CWL forum and he wants parishes across the archdiocese to organize similar events prior to the next election.
"It is essential that we as Catholics have an informed conscience," he said. "This is a first step in how to be active in the context of an election."
MacDonald said he hopes candidates' forums will help Catholics to identify candidates who are "kindred spirits" with the values the Church promotes.
All political parties have people with good values and it's important Catholics know who they are, he said.