Access: Catholic Advocate
Catholics constitute at least 25 percent of voters in national elections. By their votes, these millions of Catholics have the power to make our country a better nation, more welcoming to life, more supportive of families, and more effective in its programs to help the poor and marginalized.
Pope John Paul II and, more recently, Pope Benedict XVI and the United States bishops have called on Catholics to renew their participation in American political life. That participation means, above all, taking the moral and social principles of the Catholic Faith into the voting booth.
Catholics should be guided by a few basic principles when considering their participation in politics. Catholics are obliged to participate in politics by voting. Their legislators are elected to serve and protect the common good, human dignity, and rights of human persons. As voters, they should have a clear understanding of the principles of Catholic moral and social teaching, and they should understand that life issues are dominant in the hierarchy of issues for the Catholic voter.
Each individual Catholic is called to bear public witness to their faith. Faith is not a private matter. The Christian Faith cannot be restricted to oneself and one’s family. Such an attitude would render it impossible to “love one’s neighbor.” Additionally, the political order cannot be separated from the divine order revealed by faith. (Gaudium et Spes, 74). Politics and government need the public witness of what faith teaches about the common good, human rights, and human dignity.
§ Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
§ The Death Penalty
§ Defense & Terrorism
§ Marriage & the Family
§ Economic Issues
§ Health Care
§ Religious Liberty
§ The Environment