“A well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program that contradicts fundamental contents of faith and morals,” he wrote.
Bishop Ricken asked that parishes publish the 650-word letter in their bulletins.
“As the bishop of Green Bay, I have the obligation to educate and form the faithful of the diocese in the pertinent moral issues of our day,” he wrote to parishes. “To this end, I have composed the attached letter to the faithful. This letter is to be inserted in all the parish bulletins in the diocese preferably this weekend or next weekend.”
Following release of the letter, news reports questioned whether Bishop Ricken was influencing Catholic voters in the upcoming presidential election. In his press statement, Bishop Ricken stated that this was not the case.
“I wrote my letter out of my love and concern for people,” he wrote. “My letter should not be misunderstood as an endorsement of any political candidates or parties; the church does not endorse political candidates or political parties.”
He stated that as a religious leader, he speaks about important moral matters. “Some things are always wrong, no matter what the circumstances,” he wrote. “That is what I mean by intrinsically evil. We should always strive to do good and avoid evil.”
His letter, which is available on The Compass website, has been read by approximately 2,500 viewers, with more than 70 comments posted.