There are a number of good resources (links below) available for Catholics to use to help them be informed and faithful citizens before going to the voting booth this coming Election Day, Tuesday, November 6th. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have put together some of the the best resources on their website regarding Faithful Citizenship, Religious Liberty, Immigration, Marriage & Family, Human Life & Dignity, and Cultural Diversity.
The USCCB offer a website with may resources including church teachings, bulletin inserts, Bishops’ Statements, informative videos, campus minister recommendations, prayers, and a Coffee Discussion Guide. The bishops remind all the faithful the teachings from the Catechism: By our baptism, Catholics are committed to following Jesus Christ and to be “salt for the earth, light for the nations.” As the Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, “It is necessary that all participate, according to his position and role, in promoting the common good. This is inherent in the dignity of the human person … As far as possible citizens should take an active part in public life” (nos. 1913-1915).
The USCCB has made many of their resources available in both English and Spanish including a good faithful citizenship voter guide. The bishops have emphasized a number of issues to consider from their Faithful Citizenship website:
The moral and human challenges outlined in the second half of Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship remain pressing national issues. In particular, our Conference is focused on several current and fundamental problems, some involving opposition to intrinsic evils and others raising serious moral questions:
- Continuing destruction of unborn children through abortion and other threats to the lives and dignity of others who are vulnerable, sick, or unwanted;
- Renewed efforts to force Catholic ministries—in health care, education, and social services—to violate their consciences or stop serving those in need;
- Intensifying efforts to redefine marriage and enact measures which undermine marriage as the permanent, faithful, and fruitful union of one man and one woman and a fundamental moral and social institution essential to the common good;
- An economic crisis which has devastated lives and livelihoods, increasing national and global unemployment, poverty, and hunger; increasing deficits and debt and the duty to respond in ways which protect those who are poor and vulnerable as well as future generations;
- The failure to repair a broken immigration system with comprehensive measures that promote true respect for law, protect the human rights and dignity of immigrants and refugees, recognize their contributions to our nation, keep families together, and advance the common good;
- Wars, terror, and violence which raise serious moral questions on the use of force and its human and moral costs in a dangerous world, particularly the absence of justice, security, and peace in the Holy Land and throughout the Middle East.
In this coming election and beyond, we urge leaders and all Catholics to share the message of faithful citizenship and to use this document in forming their own consciences, so we can act together to promote and protect human life and dignity, marriage and family, justice and peace in service to the common good. This kind of political responsibility is a requirement of our faith and our duty as citizens.
Confraternity of Catholic Clergy
The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy is a group of 500 Catholic clergy that have produced the first FREE non-partisan voting guide for Catholics mobile app for handheld devices (iPhones, iPods, iPads, Android & Windows Smartphones).
The CCC wants faithful to make a prudent decision in the voting booth requires a well formed conscience and a reasonable knowledge of the issues at stake. Six vital concerns are specifically highlighted:
RIGHT TO LIFE
RELIGIOUS LIBERTY (and Freedom of Religion)
SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE
ACCESS TO NECESSARY GOODS
The CCC App is a well-designed App and true to the teachings highlighted by the USCCB.
Catholic for the Common Good
Catholics for the Common Good is an organization focused on the needs of poverty and social justice and peace. They explain on their website about The Common Good:
“The common good is the total of all those conditions of social living – economic, political, sociological and cultural – which make it possible for women and men readily and fully to achieve the perfection of their humanity. Individual rights are always experienced within the context of the promotion of the common good.
Catholic social thought’s vision of promoting the common good involves working on developing in society all those conditions of social living through which each and every person can be enabled to achieve their authentic human development more fully.”
Catholics for the Common Good is a coalition of many Catholic organizations:
- Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good
- Catholics United
- Conference of Major Superiors of Men
- Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
- Federation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph
- Franciscan Action Network
- Franciscan Federation
- Franciscan Friars (Eastern Province)
- Good Shepherd Sisters
- Leadership Conference of Women Religious
- Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
- NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
- Pax Christi USA
- Pax Romana
- Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
National Mass for Religious Liberty on October 14th
Archbishop William E. Lori gave a beautiful homily at the recent Mass and Pilgrimage for Life and Liberty at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. Excerpts of his homily are in an excellent article from Catholic News Service
Busted Halo has produced a video that helps voters think about the many issues to consider and uses the Faithful Citizenship as a guide:
The staff at Catholic Web Services is praying for a safe and fair election. God Bless America !!!