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September 27, 2020
In a few weeks, Americans will go to the polls to elect public officials from the local arena to the Presidency of the United States. Over this campaign period, as in prior ones, there have been some Catholic bishops, priests, deacons, religious sisters and brothers attempting to suggest it is immoral to vote for one candidate or another. It is important that every Catholic voter as well as every citizen to know fully, that these “spokes persons” are speaking for themselves, without the sanction of the USCB (United States Catholic Bishops). The Catholic Church does not endorse candidates nor political parties. In a publication by the USCB – Responsible Citizenship – the bishops of the United States explain the responsibility of every voter to vote his or her conscience, but also that their consciences be properly formed.
A properly formed conscience does not accept carte blanche, the rhetoric, slogans, and labels by their favored candidate to be true. A properly formed conscience asks questions that require more than a yes or no response, it seeks truth and rejects political “spin”. A properly formed conscience understands the long-term effects of policies, their impacts on the lives of many. A well-formed conscience knows Catholic Social Teachings as they address a multitude of right to life, and human rights issues. A well-formed conscience is acquired by prayer, study, prayer, and open and respectful communication. A well-formed conscience listens to other ideas and seeks a Godly response.
It seems that in these volatile times, when emotions are so strong, that it is really difficult to step back a moment and make an honest search for truth, and respect. None-the-less, as responsible citizens (regardless of religious professions) we are obligated to make an attempt. As an aid in this difficult time, the Michigan Catholic Conference has published a “guide” help direct our minds and questions to ask and consider. The publication Vol. 48, No.3 September 2020 is available for free by:
Calling (800) 395.5565
Email [email protected]
The web michcatholic.org