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What are the pertinent political and moral issues at stake today?
As Catholics, “we bring the richness of our faith to the public square.” This means shedding light on the shadows that plague our society. How does the church shed light on issues of human life? On the situation and rights of Dreamers and immigrant families? On religious freedom and conscience rights? On the realities of xenophobia, human trafficking, racism, and even infanticide? All of these are current issues that need to be met with the Church’s testimony that all human beings, from conception to natural death, have inherent dignity, are created equal, and have the right to life. Visit www.cacatholic.org for more information on how to think through these issues as a faithful Catholic. Also, view the U.S. Bishops’ publication Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship for timeless insights on these timely social issues at usccb.org/issues-and-action/faithful-citizenship/index.cfm.
Should I leave my faith behind at the polling booth?
Do you wonder what place your faith has in your voting? Have you thought or been told that ‘separation of church and state’ may include the separation of your faith from your voting or civic engagement? As Catholics, we know that our faith is a source of true unity among people. It is also an essential support for the right use of reason, extending the reach of reason, and this includes morally sound political decision making. Our faith is indeed a revealed faith and comes down to us from God in a way above what our natural reason could grasp on its own. However, it is not in any way opposed to good reason. This is because both faith and reason come from the same one God of truth. Therefore, since reason, completed by the light of our faith, reveals to us the true state of things, we must in good conscience then base decisions on what both faith and reason furnish. This includes our voting decisions, and other forms of civic engagement. Visit www.cacatholic.org for more information.
Papal Encyclicals and Voting?
Do you wonder what relevance papal teachings and encyclicals have to your life, let alone voting? Do you feel like you never have enough time to devote to informing yourself about pertinent papal and church teachings? Visit www.cacatholic.org where you will find summaries of papal teachings on social issues, as well as many other informative articles about Catholic teaching and politics, including an article entitled “Social Encyclicals and Papal Letters Address Issues of the Day.” Also, sign up for regular updates on important issues on public policy by joining the Catholic Legislative Network.
Not sure you understand Catholic Social Teaching?
Have you heard about Catholic Social Teaching, but wonder if you really understand its principles? Do you want to know the key concepts or central messages that the church has for our world today? Catholic Social Teaching is deep, robust, complex, but also accessible to anyone who has a willing heart and mind. It springs from memorable, foundational and harmonious principles and values, including the life and dignity of the human person, the call to family and community, the relationship between rights and responsibilities, the option for the poor and vulnerable, the dignity of work and the rights of workers, solidarity, subsidiarity, care for God’s creation, and more. For more information on how these principles play out in current issues and to keep informed, visit www.cacatholic.org. And to receive regular updates on important issues on public policy from a faithful Catholic perspective, join the Catholic Legislative Network.
Tired of polarizing politics and wonder what happened to civil discourse?
Civilize it! Join the movement launched by the United States Bishops to bring civility to the social and political discourse, Civilize It. In this campaign, the bishops strive to reclaim human dignity “beyond the debate,” to always remember that those who we disagree with have something very essential in common with us, human dignity and a concern for the common good in mind. Without a civil manner of discourse the conversation shuts down, along with the possibilities that may have arisen from it, and we have already lost sight of a main goal of any sound political action – the protection and support of human dignity among diverse but united peoples. Visit www.cacatholic.org to learn more about the Civilize It campaign, and be a part of the renewal that will bring the treasure of civility back into our important debates and conversations.
How do I vote this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic?
This year, taking into account the danger of the COVID-19 virus, all registered voters will be mailed a ballot and they may choose to vote by mail. In addition to mail-in ballots, in California, voting places will be open for traditional voting but may be limited in capacity to reduce the spread of COVID-19. For this reason, polls may also be open a few days early. Additionally, if you don’t receive or misplace your mail-in ballot in California, you are permitted to vote via a Provisional Ballot at your walk-in polling place. This will be checked against your voter registration status and then counted. As Catholics, we are encouraged to exercise our right to vote for the sake of the common good. We believe that our faith provides us with sound truths and principles on which to contemplate and respond to current issues in society. We have a part to play in achieving the common good, including through voting. To learn more about catholic teaching on issues affecting our state and nation visit www.cactholic.org. For more information on how to register to vote, visit: www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voter-registration/.
What does it mean to form one’s conscience?
You know that everyone has a conscience, yet, many seemingly in good conscience deeply disagree on moral issues. Is the conscience broken, or is there something more to it? Can our conscience be in error or is it fallible, and if it can, what does it mean to follow a rightly formed conscience? To learn more about Catholic teaching on how all people are both given a conscience as an indispensable part of our nature and also how it must be consciously formed and informed as we develop in life, visit www.cacatholic.org. Here you will also find resources to help form your conscience to make faithful and responsible political and voting decisions based on catholic morals, the truths revealed to us by Christ, and sound reason.
Feeling disconnected from politics?
Do you see a vast difference between how things are and how they should be in our society? Are you discouraged and feel that things will never change? While it is true, we will always have suffering in this life and no political action can solve every problem, there is still work to do, and you have an indispensable part! As Catholics, we believe we have not only a right but a responsibility to engage our society to shape it in a way that keeps with God’s law. We need you! The California Catholic Conference along with the United States Bishops have helpful and clarifying tools to aid you in both getting informed about Catholic social and moral teachings as well as how you can become part of the movement for positive change. Visit www.cacatholic.org for more information, and join the Catholic Legislative Network to receive regular updates and action items on important issues on public policy from a faithfully Catholic perspective. Form your conscience and make your voice heard!
Why doesn’t the Church endorse political candidates?
Do you wonder why the church does not endorse political candidates? Do you also wonder why, on the other hand, the church does often offer very clear statements or judgements on legislation or political actions? For answers to these questions visit www.cacatholic.org. You can also find information there on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops publication Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship in which the bishops layout sound teachings on voting as a faithful Catholic, timeless truths derived from faith, and reason to bring light to your thinking and decision making.
Head spinning from the state of politics?
During these tumultuous times, it can be hard to find sure guidance. The United States Bishops offer sure principles derived from our faith and sound reason in their publication Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. Drawing on the principles of Catholic Social Teaching the bishops bring light into the darkness and chaos of the political discourse and provide a compass to guide reasonable and moral decisions for Catholic voters. To learn more about the bishops teaching visit www.cacatholic.org and sign up to keep updated on important issues and legislation coming to the ballot.
What Is Faithful Citizenship?
As Catholics, our faith is not a purely private matter but one that impels us to act boldly in the world for the common good. In order for peace to reign and the common good to be established, the natural law must be enshrined in our land through sound legislation and just enforcement of the law. As members of a democracy, we are responsible to participate in the achievement of the common good through our thoughtful and faithful participation both by voting and in our daily lives. The US Bishops offer sound guidance, articulating a variety of domestic and foreign policy issues impacting human life and dignity, religious freedom, care for creation and immigration in their publication, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. Please visit the California Catholic Conference website at www.cacatholic.org to learn more about important policy issues.
Are all political issues and causes created equal?
As Catholics, we believe that there is true harmony and mutual dependence between social issues and the Catholic response to them. Every political and moral issue finds its source of meaning in the most fundamental principles revealed to us by God in faith and reason. In this light, there is an order inherent in social and moral issues, just as there are an order and a unity in the virtues. Some issues, such as the life and dignity of the human person, are more central because, without these directly protected, no other rights or actions can achieve justice and the common good. Visit www.cacatholic.org for more information on what principles should concern Catholics most and how this guides our personal evaluation of public policy and political candidates. Also, view the US Bishops publication Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship for timeless insights on timely social issues at usccb.org/issues-and-action/faithful-citizenship/index.cfm.
Looking for sound insights into political questions?
Visit the California Catholic Conference at www.cacatholic.org and the Faithful Citizenship page (www.cacatholic.org/faithful-citizenship) to gain sound Catholic insights into state, local and national issues of politics and public policy in harmony with the principles of Catholic Social Teaching; and join the Catholic Legislative Network to receive regular updates and action items on important issues. Visit www.cacatholic.org today!
Need help navigating the political tides as a Catholic?
The California Conference of Bishops, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, offer sound moral teaching on the requirements of the faithful pursuit of justice and the common good in the current issues of politics and public policy. Visit the Faithful Citizenship page of the California Catholic Conference: www.cacatholic.org/faithful-citizenship. And sign up for the Catholic Legislative Network for regular updates and action items at www.cacatholic.org/join-the-network