Bishops Urge Churchgoers to Vote in Presidential Election

Voter casting ballot

Prague, (CTK) – The Czech Bishops’ Conference calls on church-goers to take part in the presidential election in its latest statement available to CTK that will be read after the Roman Catholic church services on Sunday.


The bishops do not recommend to the church-goers which candidate to choose, only asking them to support a candidate promoting decency in public life, stable families and defence of human life in all its stages.


The president should respect the importance of Christian values for society and cherish truth and love of one’s neighbour, the bishops say.


They also remember St Agnes of Bohemia who was canonised at the time of the Velvet Revolution that led to the fall of the country’s communist regime in 1989.


Czech Bishops’ Conference general secretary Stanislav Pribyl said he does not want to recommend any candidate. “For me personally, the president should be a good political player… I expect him to be a personality that unites people on the domestic scene,” he told CTK.


Some church representatives clearly presented their stances on the presidential candidates.


Benedikt Mohelnik, head of the Czech Dominican Order, said President Milos Zeman does not deserve to be re-elected in the forthcoming election.


Mohelnik said Zeman in his presentations challenged main civic virtues by arousing people’s low instincts and selfish interests.


“Despite his statements, Milos Zeman uses nearly every occasion to denigrate and defame the church,” Mohelnik said.


Catholic priest Tomas Halik, winner of the 2015 Templeton Prize, said he shares Mohelnik’s view. Halik said Zeman was “totally incapable of performing the post of president for many reasons, including moral and health reasons.


Zeman has been permanently setting people against one another, diving society and seriously harming the political culture of the country and the country’s reputation abroad, Halik said.


Petr Jan Vins, general secretary of the Ecumenic Council of Churches, said the president should seriously consider values like truth and peace between people of good will. “It seems to me that the current president has failed in this,” Vins told CTK.