Statement on Elections
Most Reverend Paul J. Swain
Bishop of Sioux Falls
October 31, 2008
As we approach the elections, I urge all Catholics to exercise their right to vote. We are called as good citizens to do so, and to do so with informed consciences grounded in the teachings of Christ.
Respect for the sanctity of life from conception to natural death ought to guide our decisions every day including Election Day. While it is true that there are a variety of important issues affecting the quality of life in the years after birth and before death, they are meaningless if there is no life to begin with. Without life there are no other issues. This is the stark reality we as faithful Catholics should bring to our election decisions concerning candidates and referenda. When we do so, we do not stop caring about other issues which also reflect our respect for life or working to address them. We simply acknowledge God as the giver of life.
That is why I encourage a Yes vote on Initiated Measure 11. Even though it is not the fullness of Catholic teaching, it will prohibit almost all abortions. Those who oppose Initiated Measure 11 have used a variety of tactics to distract voters from the core issue: Do we wish to change state law from allowing abortion on demand. My answer is yes.
Know of my prayers for you as you exercise this precious and serious duty. Together let use pray for our country that the common good be our common goal.
For more detailed statements on these issues, please reference the diocesan website.