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October 26, 2016
Letter from Bishop Murphy on Voting and the Upcoming Elections                                            
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

With Election Day just two weeks away, the decisions you and I will make are important ones. Each and every one of us has a very important role to play. We have to decide who will get our vote. Permit me the opportunity to share with you some thoughts I ask you to consider. 
First and foremost, pray. Spend time in prayer asking God to guide you and your family and our country during this time.  Pray before the Blessed Sacrament, pray to the Blessed Mother, pray the rosary and entrust your decision to our Lord.
Like many of you, I lament the current climate of division, and the mean-spiritedness and intolerance of some toward those who do not agree with candidates and positions that do not fit their worldview. If you think you are confused and slightly battered by the noise, public protests and private misgivings, you have every reason to be so. But as responsible citizens and faithful men and women of God, we have to exercise our right to vote in a way that is serious, well-informed and reflective of who we are as Americans and Catholics.
We believe in God. We know He is the creator and thus God is intimately present in all things -- the world, human life, communities, choices and elections. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said, “Those who deny God can lead us only in a direction that ultimately is destructive.”
The human person, made in the image and likeness of God, is the ultimate measure of what is good or bad, right or wrong. Every person is sacred and has inherent rights which political leaders must protect and serve. Those who do not are unworthy of our vote. Those who contradict themselves by saying one thing and doing another are unworthy of our vote.
Many issues are very important in our society today. But none of them can eclipse the centrality of human life, especially innocent human life in the womb or at the end of life. Above all and over all, the number one issue more fundamental and crucial than any other is abortion – that is the direct taking of innocent life, which is financed by government funds -- the diversion of our tax dollars to abortionists like Planned Parenthood as well as government insistence that we Catholics, like the Little Sisters of the Poor, violate our consciences to advance such programs.
Support of abortion by a candidate for public office, some of whom are Catholics, even if they use the fallacious and deeply offensive “personally opposed but . . .” line, is reason sufficient unto itself to disqualify any and every such candidate from receiving our vote. Let me repeat that: Support of abortion by a candidate for public office, some of whom are Catholics, even if they use the fallacious and deeply offensive “personally opposed but . . .” line, is reason sufficient unto itself to disqualify any and every such candidate from receiving our vote. 
I have three questions to end this letter! Please reflect upon these as you examine your conscience and prepare to exercise your right to vote.
     
       1. Do you think our country is going in the right direction or the wrong direction? I believe it is heading in the wrong direction. If I am right, then, 
        2. Of the two candidates running for president, and of all of the candidates running for elective office, whether federal, state or local, which ones will continue to lead us in the current direction or which are more likely to restore justice in those areas that cry out for such a restoration? 
        3. Which ones are willing to lead us in a direction that is more pro life, more pro family and more pro truth? Which ones will recognize and respect the role of religion in the lives of citizens and the Church’s right to mediate the truths of the Gospel and the Church’s teaching as part of the public life of our country, in public ministries like health care, education and charitable works, without being forced to adopt and facilitate those cultural practices that are not consonant with Church teaching?  

For further insight, I have written two columns on voting in The Long Island Catholic Magazine. They are also available on the diocesan website, www.drvc.org. In addition, the U.S. Bishops have prepared a teaching document on the political responsibility of Catholics called “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship”. It is also available online. I urge you to consider thoughtfully these resources along with this letter as you go through the process of deciding whom you will support with your vote. 
 
May God bless you and your families and may God continue to bless the United States of America.
 
Faithfully yours in Christ,   
William Murphy    
Bishop of Rockville Centre
Papal Nuncio to deliver St. Agnes Lecture on Sunday
The newly appointed Papal Nuncio to the US, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, will be the speaker at the Annual St. Agnes Lecture at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception on Sunday, October 30. The day's schedule is:3:00 pm -- Welcome and Introduction; 3:15 pm -- Presentation by Archbishop Pierre; 
4:15 pm -- Informal Reception; 5:15 pm -- Evening Prayer. Pre-registration at (631) 423-0483 x 102 or bmalone@icseminary.edu is requested and encouraged. The Seminary of the Immaculate Conception is located at 440 West Neck Road  Huntington, New York 11743
Pope expresses shock over cruelty waged against innocent Iraqis

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- As a military operation in northern Iraq fights to wrest control of areas held by retaliating Islamic State forces, Pope Francis criticized the "cruelty" and heinous violence waged against innocent civilians. He invited people to pray with him, asking that "Iraq, while gravely stricken, might be both strong and firm in the hope of moving toward a future of security, reconciliation and peace."

Speaking to visitors in St. Peter's Square Oct. 23 for the Angelus prayer, the pope said, "In these dramatic hours, I am close to the entire population of Iraq, especially that of the city of Mosul. Our hearts are shocked by the heinous acts of violence that for too long have been perpetrated against innocent citizens, whether they be Muslims, whether they be Christians, or people belonging to other ethnic groups and religions."

He said he was "saddened to hear news of the killing, in cold blood, of many sons and daughters of that beloved land, including many children; this cruelty makes us weep, leaving us without words." 

Where am I?

Each week we feature a photo from somewhere in the diocese.
October 28th is the feast day of St. Jude, patron saint of impossible causes. Do you know where this stained glass depiction of the saint can be found?
Send your answer to this email. (Please include your name.) 

Many people correctly identified last week's photo as the crest over the front door of St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School in West Islip. The crest shows the school logo -- 
"In fide et lenitate" (In Faith and in Gentleness). St. John the Baptist is celebrating it golden jubilee in 2016 along with Holy Trinity Diocesan High School. 
For in-depth news and features, subscribe to The Long Island Catholic Magazine and visit our website www.LICatholic.org

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