“If indeed ‘the just ordering of society and of the state is a central responsibility of politics,’ the Church ‘cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice’.”i So writes Pope Francis, quoting Pope Benedict XVI.
Our nation faces many political challenges that demand well-informed moral choices: the ongoing destruction of a million innocent human lives each year by abortion; physician-assisted suicide; the redefinition of marriage; the excessive consumption of material goods and destruction of natural resources, harming the environment as well as the poor; deadly attacks on Christians and other religious minorities throughout the world; efforts to narrow the definition and exercise of religious freedom; economic policies that fail to prioritize the needs of poor people, at home and abroad; a broken immigration system and a worldwide refugee crisis; and wars, terror, and violence that threaten every aspect of human life and dignity.ii
As Catholics, we are part of a community with profound teachings that help us consider challenges in public life, contribute to greater justice and peace for all people, and evaluate policy positions, party platforms, and candidates’ promises and actions in light of the Gospel in order to help build a better world.
i Evangelii Gaudium, no. 183.
ii This specific list of issues is taken from the introductory note to Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, 2016. For a fuller consideration see the second document in this series, the “Challenge of FCFC Part II: From Principles to Prudential Action” (2016), and the full statement of the bishops’ Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, 2016.