Leaders of the lay Catholic group Couples for Christ (CFC) have expressed support for the presidential candidacy of Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo in a “pastoral letter” released on Wednesday, February 23.
“We began our discussion of the criteria (for candidates to support) on the premise and realization that there is no perfect candidate,” read the group’s statement.
“At the end of our prayerful immersion and meaningful discussion, the members of the [International Council] reached the decision to support the presidential candidacy of Leni Robredo,” it added.
The Couples for Christ is an international Catholic lay ecclesial movement whose goal is to renew and strengthen Christian values.
It is one of 123 international associations of the Catholic faithful affiliated with the Vatican and recognized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
In its statement, the group said that “this is the first time the International Council is announcing its support, based on individual IC member choices, for a particular candidate.”
The Philippines will hold its presidential and vice presidential elections on Monday, May 9, 2022, as part of the 2022 general election.
“In stating its support for Leni Robredo, however, the International Council recognizes and acknowledges the God-given right of each and every member to make his/her choice,” it read.
“Thus, we are not imposing this decision on anyone,” said the group.
“We recognize that the very essence of democracy is the freedom of everyone to express their own views, to make their own choices and to demand, if not agreement, at least respect for their decisions,” read the statement.
The group said that as has been its policy for years, “we do not and will not endorse candidates because we do not want to see CFC as an institution imposing block voting on the brethren.”
It said that council members arrived at their individual decision to support Robredo “after much prayer, discernment, and dialogue.”
“We expect you to do the same and go through the same process of discernment we went through,” read the statement, addressing the group’s members.
“Should your decision differ from ours, we will respect your choice in the spirit of love and brotherhood that has characterized, and will continue to characterize, our being CFC,” said the statement.
“We ask only that we all remain faithful to our Christian calling and that we be actively involved in principled politics as our Church teaches,” it said.
“We are one with our Church in our desire to see only God-fearing men and women in leadership positions who will lead us and the next generations into a free, progressive, and united Philippines,” read the statement.
The group recognized that “elections come and go, but our brotherhood and community life will remain for many more years to come.”
“The noise of the campaign will cease, but the force of our love for each other, and the depth of our shared mission will continue,” it said.