California Catholic Conference Guide to the 2020 Election

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CA Bishops Oppose Prop 20 and its Promise to Roll Back Historic Criminal Justice Reforms

The California Catholic Conference of Bishops opposes Proposition 20 on the grounds that it threatens to overturn the important criminal justice reforms advanced by Propositions 47 and 57. These historic laws established California as a leader in the movement to reform a broken, racially-biased, disproportionately punitive, and cost-prohibitive system through the application of restorative justice principles and practices.

As Catholics, we are compelled to confront two of the greatest sins of our times: institutionalized racism and mass incarceration. Both are inherently harmful to human dignity and do not recognize the oneness of humanity that demands restoration of relationship as a basis for a just society.

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CA Bishops Oppose Prop 20 and its Promise to Roll Back Historic Criminal Justice Reforms



The California Catholic Conference of Bishops is opposed to Proposition 14 on the November 2020 ballot.  The measure asks California taxpayers to provide an additional $5.5 billion for the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) so it can continue funding research using human embryos.

The Church “appreciates and encourages the progress of the biomedical sciences which open up unprecedented therapeutic prospects” said Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI but it also respects and values every human life. 

“Advancements in biological and medical science have and will continue to alleviate suffering but doing so at the expense of another human life is an affront to the dignity of the person,” said Bishop Robert McElroy, Bishop of San Diego and President of the California Catholic Conference of Bishops. 

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Californians Face Complicated Ballot Questions

Prop Analysis Chart

California voters will be asked to vote on 12 statewide propositions on the ballot this year. The California Catholic Conference has published materials to help you develop an informed conscience and navigate the complex and confusing choices.

Click below to find descriptions of each proposition with clear background, non-partisan analysis, and a sampling of the principles of Catholic social teaching to help us in that discernment.

In addition, you will find guidelines for political activity and policy materials, which come with strict guidelines in California.


Be sure to forward this newsletter to family and friends to help them become informed before voting in this year’s election.

2020 General Election Propositions Analysis

Guidelines for Political Activity

Policy on Political Materials


Faithful Citizenship

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"We need to participate for the common good. Sometimes we hear: a good Catholic is not interested in politics. This is not true: good Catholics immerse themselves in politics by offering the best of themselves so that the leader can govern." - Pope Francis

As faithful citizens, we are called to make informed voting decisions based on a clear understanding of our faith and a deep appreciation of life, the common good, solidarity, care for the poor and the other principles of faith and morals that are to guide our life. 

The California Catholic Conference has published materials on faithful citizenship including bulletins, homily helps, papers on the importance of public participation for Catholics, and resources on Catholic Social Teaching and elections.

Click here for more.


USCCB Election Resources

Civilize It

The USCCB has published Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States (also en Español), which provides a framework for Catholics in the United States.


This teaching document examines the political responsibility of Catholics and provides guidance in the exercise of rights and duties as participants in our democracy. 

The USCCB has also launched a Civilize It campaign, aimed at replacing personal attacks with honest debate and leaving room in your heart for those with whom you disagree.

Civilize It is a non-partisan call to focus on the dignity of all people, even when we disagree, and to put faith in action by bearing witness to a better way forward. You can commit to joining the campaign here.


The proof of #prayer is real love for our neighbour.



October 9, 2020
Vol. 13, No. 36

En Español

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