Letter From the Pastor – Fr. David’s Dialogues (July 28, 2019)
I saw my first Election 2020 ad about two weeks ago. Perhaps you have been following these preliminary days for some weeks or maybe you are one who won’t pay much attention for another year. Wherever you fit on that scale it is important to know that there is a correlation between faith and politics. Pope Francis reminds us:
An authentic faith…always involves a deep desire to change the world, to transmit values, to leave this earth somehow better than we found it. We love this magnificent planet on which God has put us, and we love the human family which dwells here, with all its tragedies and struggles, its hopes and aspirations, its strengths and weaknesses. The earth is our common home and all of us are brothers and sisters. 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.” (Evangelii Gaudium, no. 183)
As a nation, we share many blessings and strengths, including a tradition of religious freedom and political participation. However, as a people, we face serious challenges that are both political and moral. This has always been so and as Catholics we are called to participate in public life in a manner consistent with the mission of our Lord, a mission that he has called us to share.
The Catholic bishops of the United States are pleased to offer once again to the Catholic faithful Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, which is the USCCB’s teaching document on the political responsibility of Catholics. It is available on the banner link on the homepage of the USCCB’s website entitled Faithful Citizenship. It is free!!! It is information the US bishops want all Catholics to know and think about. They are so serious about this that they are not selling it in a book. It is free!!! They are asking us to spend time with this to inform ourselves as we go through this next year. It doesn’t make it simple by merely telling you whom to vote for. Instead, it looks at numerous Church teachings and documents and begins inviting you into a process that helps inform your conscience. It references 84 different sources. You can also download the PDF version and save it to your favorite device. It too is free!!!
Here are some teasers:
- Why is this important? Part I—The U.S. Bishops’ Reflection on Catholic Teaching and Political Life
- Thirteen different topics to think about. Part II—Applying Catholic Teaching to Major Issues: A Summary of Policy Positions of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- The bigger picture. Part III—Goals for Political Life: Challenges for Citizens, Candidates, and Public Officials
When you start thinking about some of these issues it no longer is about voting for the person you want to win. And when you read through this, your conversational engagement will reflect some thoughtfulness and intelligence. And it all stems because you are Catholic and you care.