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Leading prelate affirms French bishops will not endorse presidential candidate

May 04, 2017

In an interview published May 3, the president of the Bishops’ Conference of France affirmed the conference’s 45-year-old practice of not endorsing a presidential candidate.

The first round of presidential voting took place on April 23, and a runoff will be held on May 7.

The task of the bishops’ conference, said Archbishop Georges Pontier of Marseille, is to remind Catholics “what our faith invites us to take into account,” such as “respect for the dignity of every human person … the importance of the family … the need to respect freedom of conscience, openness to the world, fair distribution of wealth, access to work, to housing.”

Each Catholic, he continued, is called upon to weigh these criteria and vote according to his conscience.

The prelate also cautioned against single-issue voting and against abstaining from voting. “I repeat the importance of the vote,” he said; “so many people are deprived of it!”

 
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  • Posted by: feedback - May. 04, 2017 9:22 AM ET USA

    Considering that only 1 in 20 Catholics in France regularly attend Sunday Mass, the Bishops' endorsement probably would not have much of an impact, if any at all. But it's a little puzzling that Archbishop lists "openness to the world" among important Catholic virtues, especially following a long series of Islamic terrorist attacks against his nation.