"People in every nation enhance the social dimension of their lives by acting as committed and responsible citizens…Let us not forget that “responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation”. Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium
If you spend any time watching television, reading the newspaper, listening to the radio, or browsing social media, you know that the election season is in full swing. Election Day is November 3 and in addition to the presidential election, there are many important races that will take place at the local, state, and federal levels. As the election approaches, partisan politics can take over all aspects of our lives and this presents challenges for us as Catholics to navigate what can feel like a political minefield.
The Church teaches that participating in democratic processes, including elections, is both a right and a responsibility. In order to help the faithful with these important decisions, the church has a responsibility to provide Catholics with resources that will help them form their conscience as they prepare to vote. The Catholic bishops have provided Catholics with a great tool that will help them form their consciences in the document Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. The purpose of this document is not to tell Catholics who to vote for, but to outline for Catholics the values and principles that ought to guide them in their decision making. Most importantly, the document makes clear that these values should precede any allegiance to political parties when it comes to our voting decisions.
Below are some resources put together by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Wisconsin Catholic Conference that might be of help. These resources can be used as bulletin inserts, posted on parish websites or social media pages, or used as reference for parishioners with questions. Many of the resources are available in Spanish.
We hope that you will find these resources helpful. If you have any questions about the resources, if you need help accessing them, or if you have any other questions or concerns related to voting and elections, please don’t hesitate to contact me.