The Church urges Catholics to participate in political life. 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” (see nos. 1913-1915). Catholics are called to political involvement that is guided by moral principles, with the dignity of all human life from the moment of conception until natural death being the paramount principle from which all others flow. The Church does not serve the interests of a particular party or interest group, but calls all people of good will to see the inherent value of human life, because we are all made in the image and likeness of God. Once this is accepted as our grounding moral principle, we naturally will want to work to protect human life and nurture human life to fulfillment, which means working to meet the needs of those marginalized in society, and giving voice to those who lack a strong voice to protect their human rights and their well-being.
To help you stay informed and have a voice in public policy matters, Catholic Charities provides educational events and mailings in the Diocese of Charlotte. These resources are based on Catholic Social Teaching, and they often go along with campaigns and alerts from our bishop and other Catholic entities.
The mission of Catholic Charities is to be a ministry of “charity, service, and justice.”
“It is commendable that in today’s democratic societies, in a climate of true freedom, everyone is made a participant in directing the body politic. Such societies call for new and fuller forms of participation in public life by Christian and non-Christian citizens alike. Indeed, all can contribute, by voting in elections for lawmakers and government official, and in other ways as well, to the development of political solutions and legislative choices which, in their opinion, will benefit the common good. The life of a democracy could not be productive without the active, responsible and generous involvement of everyone, albeit in a diversity and complementarity of forms, levels, tasks, and responsibilities.”
Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life, l. 1., Vatican City, 2002
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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, 9/16/13
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has issued a statement to Catholics in the United States to shed the light of the Gospel and the Church’s moral wisdom on various pressing concerns of our time so that we might better form our consciences for “faithful citizenship.” This statement, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States with Introductory Note,” encourages Catholics to seek and apply the guidance of Church teaching in their voting decisions. This statement, most recently updated with an Introductory Note in 2019, was reaffirmed at the November 2019 meeting of the U.S. Bishops and remains the U.S. Bishops’ guiding document for civic engagement and political responsibility by Catholics in the United States. The USCCB Faithful Citizenship statement and varied supporting resources are available in English and Spanish at www.faithfulcitizenship.org and www.ciudadanosfieles.org.
Please find below links to two summary, two-sided, bulletin inserts that you may wish to include in your parish bulletin in two consecutive weekends in the next two months. Those inserts are provided in English and Spanish.
Find here a document that directs people to the website of the NC State Board of Elections to obtain information on how to register to vote in North Carolina and how to apply for an absentee ballot. Feel free to make copies of this document or place it in bulletins. [In their statement on Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, the U.S. Catholic Bishops remind Catholics, “We are called to bring together our principles and our political choices, our values and our votes, to help build a better world” (no. 14).]
The USCCB is promoting Civilize It in this election year. Resource materials, including resources for prayer and reflection, tips for civil dialogue, are available at: www.CivilizeIt.org. Read the USCCB “Civilize It” press release USCCB Launches National Civility Effort.
Mission of Catholic Charities
To be a ministry of “charity, service,