Following is the text of the statement issued by Latin patriarchal Vicar for Jordan Bishop William Shomali regarding the upcoming parliamentary elections in Jordan due to be held on Tuesday, November 10, 2020:
A few days are left for the parliamentary elections that take place this year amid exceptional circumstances at the epidemic and economic levels locally and globally.
Some people are afraid of being infected and may decide not to participate in the elections. On the contrary, we invite you to participate in the elections while taking the strictest health precautions, by ensuring social distancing, and refraining from gatherings so as not to let the participation in the elections serve as a cause for the spread of the epidemic.
We have a golden opportunity to choose who represents us so as to further develop this dear country as well as to achieve the necessary reforms. There is no doubt that the message of the members of the Lower House of Parliament is to be the conscience of the nation, to confront corruption and the corrupt, as well as to reflect justice and transparency, so that change for the better is a national process that passes through the Lower House of Parliament and the government. Therefore, going to the polls is a right, a duty, and a criterion for good citizenship. Every citizen has to choose the most qualified and the candidates who are mostly capable of taking the nation’s interest above all considerations. This is the homeland which we want, namely to be a state of institutions, law, and a society of justice and equality that secures for its children the opportunity to work and have a decent life.
Lord Jesus Christ said: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s”. This implies that worshiping the one God and fulfilling our religious duties go hand-in-hand with the performance of our national duty. One of the basics of good citizenship is casting our votes at the ballot box. The catechism of the Catholic Church enumerates the conditions for good citizenship where some of which include, “sharing the responsibility for the common good, paying taxes, exercising the right to vote, and defending the nation.” Let your vote be free and without being constrained by material temptations or narrow interests, since the bribe-givers and the bribe-takers offend the public interest and the nation’s dignity.
As we wholeheartedly implore the Lord, the lover of mankind, for the success of the voting process and the success of the best candidates, we ask Him to put an end to the fatal pandemic, to heal the patients, to help recover the economy, and to have all people cooperate for the common good.
May God protect the Hashemite family under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah II Ben Al Hussein, protect the Jordanian government, and protect the security agencies that watch over our security and comfort.