Montreal, October 11, 2019 — The holding of elections in Canada reminds us of how lucky we are to live in a democratic country and highlights our responsibilities as voters.
To vote is to express the values and principles that inhabit us and that we wish to see embodied in the action of our elected government.
With that in mind, the Catholic religious communities wish to express their concerns and their solidarity on issues affecting Canada and the world.
We have to save the planet!
The new generations are clamouring louder and louder for it: the future of our planet must be a top priority for political parties. This should include immediate measures favouring energy transition and the gradual abandonment of fossil fuels. To that end, 64 leaders of Canadian women’s religious institutes recently issued an unambiguous commitment. In the same vein, some dioceses in Canada have drawn the attention of Catholics to important issues in this election.
Let’s be welcoming and fair!
Whether because of climate change or conflict, our world is experiencing major migration phenomena that are influencing the Canadian reality. We must act in the face of the suffering and poverty of refugees and migrants. In that regard, Pope Francis invites us to welcome, protect, promote and integrate those people in fragile situations.
Canada, first inhabited by Indigenous people, is also the land of people who are hoping for our hospitality. A fair distribution of wealth must be demanded for the common good of Indigenous peoples, citizens and newcomers alike. The value of our society is measured by our ability to live in harmony. Meeting and sharing differences is a precious testimony for our society. Our government’s foreign policy must reflect our worldview (international aid, fight against human trafficking, etc.) and not contradict it (weapons sales, inaction during political crises, etc.). For the sake of justice and equity, we need to rethink the relationships among us because everything in our world is interconnected.
Leave nobody behind!
When preparing and voting on bills, may our elected representatives of 2019 work for the happiness of all Canadians, especially those who have been left behind by our system. May the decisions of our future political representatives be based on the respect and promotion of the dignity of people, benchmarks of a country’s quality of life.
Together for a better world
The Canadian Religious Conference wishes to express its gratitude to all those who are running in this election. It is an expression of their attachment to our country.
We urge them to propose a fair and equitable social project and to avoid any personal attacks that ultimately distract attention from the real issues of this election.
On the evening of October 21, may they accept the people’s verdict with humility and serenity, and work purposefully and with determination in service to the public. It is in this gift of self to the other that happiness takes root and unfolds in the present for the benefit of the whole society.
We wanted to raise some of the issues in the present statement in the name of our deep solidarity with the men and women of this country, who are important to us and for whom we remain in service. Although women and men religious are growing older, their hearts remain wide open to building a better world in the name of our faith in Jesus Christ. Religious life resides essentially in this gift of oneself to others.
May the 2019 election be a unifying moment for the well-being of our fellow citizens.
About the CRC
The CRC is an association that brings together the leaders of 250 Catholic congregations of women and men religious in Canada. Its mission is to encourage its members in living fully their vocation of following Christ and to support them in their prophetic testimony of justice and peace in society and the Church.