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Catholic Church doesn’t dictate members’ votes

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I felt compelled, as a Catholic, to address the recent dialogue in your publication (The Press-Tribune Aug. 13) regarding the Catholic Church directing its members to vote against gay marriage. Unfortunately, there are Catholics who, because they do not fully understand their Catholic Church and the Catholic faith, misrepresent it privately and publicly. As a Catholic Catechist teacher, I would like to correct the assertion that the church tells its members how to cast their votes. The church does not and has never engaged in this practice. The Church does remind all its members, worldwide, about the Church’s teachings on faith and morals. As Catholics we are bound to uphold these teachings in our lives, including when we cast our votes, in the United States, or any other country where Catholics live. I would also like to address your headline “The Church Does not speak for all Catholics.” Actually, the Church does speak for all its members on issues of faith and morals. Some Catholics feel they have the right to disagree with certain aspects of the Catechism and teachings of the Church, they are correct they do have free choice, however to call yourself Catholic you are bound to believe and accept all of the teachings of the Church on faith and morals. As Catholics we believe these teachings were, and are provided to the Church by God himself. The Church is steadfast in these teachings, which have been consistent for more than 2,000 years, and have endured and outlasted all governments, dictatorships, civilizations, and even pressures from within. The Church, I am proud to say, has always stood unaffected and unwavering to these pressures. Therefore, it should be noted that the Church has not and will not deviate from its teachings on the issue of sex outside of marriage regardless of the parties, whether it is premarital, adultery or homosexual. It will also not waiver on the fact and the teaching that marriage, according to scripture, has always been between a man and a women for the direct purpose of procreation (sharing in the creation of life with God), and the raising of children. The law of God, for Catholics, is always considered above the laws of any state or country, and we are divinely directed to voice these teachings in our words and votes, as the Catholic Church has recently and will always remind us. Charlene Reese, Catholic Catechist Granite Bay