As Catholics, we bring the richness of our faith to the public square. We draw from both faith and reason as we seek to affirm the dignity of the human person and the common good of all.
With renewed hope, we, the Catholic Bishops of the United States, are re-issuing Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship (Download The Entire Document By Clicking Here), our teaching document on the political responsibility of Catholics, which provides guidance for all who seek to exercise their rights and duties as citizens.
Everyone living in this country is called to participate in public life and contribute to the common good. In Rejoice and Be Glad [Gaudete et Exsultate], Pope Francis writes:
Your identification with Christ and his will involves a commitment to build with him that kingdom of love, justice and universal peace. . . .You cannot grow in holiness without committing yourself, body and soul, to giving your best to this endeavor.
The call to holiness, he writes, requires a “firm and passionate” defense of “the innocent unborn.”
“Equally sacred,” he further states, are “the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery, and every form of rejection.”
Our approach to contemporary issues is first and foremost rooted in our identity as followers of Christ and as brothers and sisters to all who are made in God’s image. For all Catholics, including those seeking public office, our participation in political parties or other groups to which we may belong should be influenced by our faith, not the other way around.