Prayer Before an Election

Lord God, as the election approaches,
we seek to better understand the issues and concerns that confront our city/state/country,
and how the Gospel compels us to respond as faithful citizens in our community.
We ask for eyes that are free from blindness
so that we might see each other as brothers and sisters,
one and equal in dignity,
especially those who are victims of abuse and violence, deceit and poverty.
We ask for ears that will hear the cries of children unborn and those abandoned,
Men and women oppressed because of race or creed, religion or gender.
We ask for minds and hearts that are open to hearing the voice of leaders who will bring us closer to your Kingdom.

We pray for discernment
so that we may choose leaders who hear your Word,
live your love,
and keep in the ways of your truth
as they follow in the steps of Jesus and his Apostles
and guide us to your Kingdom of justice and peace.

We ask this in the name of your Son Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Voting Information

Ohio Voter Information: Secretary of State Office

Early Voting Began October 2, 2012

Frequently asked Questions about voting in Ohio (Ohio Secretary of State)

Political Action Guidelines: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Office of General Counsel

These guidelines are provided by the USCCB Office of General Counsel for the purpose of assisting (arch)dioceses, parishes, and other Catholic organizations (“Catholic organizations”) that are exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) in distinguishing activities that are permitted during election campaigns from activities that are prohibited. This guidance focuses primarily on section 501(c)(3) of the IRC, which contains a prohibition against participation or intervention in a political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate, as a condition of maintaining federal income tax exemption.

Catholic Conference of Ohio Resource Materials:
Elections 2012
For Use in Parishes & Schools

Bulletin Insert/Educational Handouts:

Ohio Ballot Issues (2-sided PDF in color)
Ohio Ballot Issues (2-sided PDF in black and white)

Reflections On Voting (2-sided PDF in color)
Reflections on Voting (2-sided PDF in black and white)

Questions for Voting 2012 (1-sided PDF in color)
Questions for Voting 2012 (1-sided PDF in black and white)

Teaching Handouts:

Candidate Issues and Questions for Voting 2012 (6-sided PDF in color)

Educational Packet with all the materials on Voting 2012 (PDF in color)

USCCB re-issues Faithful Citizenship; adds an Introductory Note 9/2011

Faithful Citizenship Videos and Audio Announcements

Franciscan Media, with support from the USCCB Catholic Communications Campaign, has created a series of videos and public service announcements about Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship! Video topics include:

Using Faithful Citizenship Correctly
Conscience Formation
Civility in the Public Square
The Economy
Religious Liberty
Life Issues
War and Peace

Additional Videos for Faithful Citizenship. USCCB

High School Discussion and Learning Activities regarding Faithful Citizenship . USCCB

Ohio Diocesan Statements regarding Faithful Citizenship

2012 Faithful Citizenship Message: Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr, Archdiocese of Cincinnati

A Call to Faithful Citizenship: Bishop George V. Murry S.J., Diocese of Youngstown

A Time For Prayer: A Call to Faithful Citizenship
An examination of conscience prepared by Diocese of Youngstown

Response regarding Faithful Citizenship presentations in the Diocese of Cleveland:
Bishop Richard G. Lennon, Diocese of Cleveland

2012 Election Message: Bishop Leonard P. Blair, Diocese of Toledo

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Statements regarding the November Election

October 12, 2112: USCCB Responds To Inaccurate Statement Of Fact On HHS Mandate Made During Vice Presidential Debate

Voting Reflections

The Catholic Conference of Ohio encourages voters to carefully study and prayerfully consider their voting choices. The United States Catholic Bishops’ 2011 updated statement, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” calls for a renewed politics that focuses on moral principles, the defense of life, the needs of the weak, and the pursuit of the common good.

 The Catholic Church does not tell voters how to vote.  The responsibility to make political choices rests with each person and his or her properly formed conscience.

Catholic voters are called to properly form their consciences in preparation for voting and for the continued advocacy for just laws and policies required after voting. This process requires constant prayer, understanding of Church teaching, and discernment that goes beyond campaign rhetoric and partisan politics. It should also focus on a candidate’s consistency with moral principles, sincerity, integrity and the ability to effect the policies that he or she promotes.

During election years, there may be many handouts and voter guides that are produced and distributed. We encourage Catholics to seek those resources that are authorized by their own bishops, their state Catholic conferences, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.



34. Catholics often face difficult choices about how to vote. This is why it is so important to vote according to a well-formed conscience that perceives the proper relationship among moral goods. A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or racism, if the voter’s intent is to support that position. In such cases a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity.

35. There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil.

36. When all candidates hold a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, the conscientious voter faces a dilemma. The voter may decide to take the extraordinary step of not voting for any candidate or, after careful deliberation, may decide to vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position and more likely to pursue other authentic human goods.

37. In making these decisions, it is essential for Catholics to be guided by a well-formed conscience that recognizes that all issues do not carry the same moral weight and that the moral obligation to oppose intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions. These decisions should take into account a candidate’s commitments, character, integrity, and ability to influence a given issue. In the end, this is a decision to be made by each Catholic guided by a conscience formed by Catholic moral teaching.


The statement, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, lifts up our dual heritage as both faithful Catholics and American citizens. We are members of a community of faith with a long tradition of teaching and action on human life, and dignity, marriage and family, justice and peace, care for creation, and the common good. As Americans, we are also blessed with religious liberty which safeguards our right to bring our principles and moral convictions into the public arena. These Constitutional freedoms need to be both exercised and protected, as some seek to mute the voices or limit the freedoms of religious believers and religious institutions. Catholics have the same rights and duties as others to participate fully in public life. The Church through its institutions must be free to carry out its mission and contribute to the common good without being pressured to sacrifice fundamental teachings and moral principles.

Introductory Note: Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: a Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States

Among many current challenges, consider the recent Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate requiring almost all private health plans to cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs. For the first time in our history, the federal government will force religious institutions to facilitate drugs and procedures contrary to our moral teaching, and purport to define which religious institutions are “religious enough” to merit an exemption. This is not a matter of whether contraception may be prohibited by the government. It is not even a matter of whether contraception may be supported by the government. It is a matter of whether religious people and institutions may be forced by the government to provide coverage for contraception and sterilization, even when it violates our religious beliefs.

USCCB Nationwide Bulletin Insert, April-May 2012


Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship is widely used to share Catholic teaching on the role of faith and conscience in political life. Although it has at times been misused to present an incomplete or distorted view of the demands of faith in politics, this statement remains a faithful and challenging call to discipleship in the world of politics. It does not offer a voters guide, scorecard of issues, or direction on how to vote. It applies Catholic moral principles to a range of important issues and warns against misguided appeals to “conscience” to ignore fundamental moral claims, to reduce Catholic moral concerns to one or two matters, or to justify choices simply to advance partisan, ideological, or personal interests. It does not offer a quantitative listing of issues for equal consideration, but outlines and makes important distinctions among moral issues acknowledging that some involve the clear obligation to oppose intrinsic evils which can never be justified and that others require action to pursue justice and promote the common good. In short, it calls Catholics to form their consciences in the light of their Catholic faith and to bring our moral principles to the debate and decisions about candidates and issues.

Introductory Note: Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: a Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States


To love someone is to desire that person's good and to take effective steps to secure it. Besides the good of the individual, there is a good that is linked to living in society: the common good.

[The common good] is the good of “all of us”, made up of individuals, families and intermediate groups who together constitute society. It is a good that is sought not for its own sake, but for the people who belong to the social community and who can only really and effectively pursue their good within it. To desire the common good and strive towards it is a requirement of justice and charity.

The more we strive to secure a common good corresponding to the real needs of our neighbors, the more effectively we love them.


Resource Readings

Democratic Party Platform (PDF)

Republican Party Platform (PDF)

New Voting Districts

Every ten years Ohio legislative districts are redrawn due to changes in population.

Ohio Senate District map (2012)

Ohio House District map (2012)

Maps by counties

Cuyahoga County
Franklin County
Hamilton County
Lucas County
Mahoning County
Montgomery County
Stark/Summit Counties

Ohio Federal District map for U.S. Congress (2012)

Ohio Congressional map showing individual districts (2012)

Ohio Candidates: November 2012 Election

Candidates for Ohio Senate November 2012
Candidates for Ohio House November 2012
Candidates for Ohio Congressional House of Representatives
Candidates for U.S. Senate - Ohio

Statewide Ballot Issues: November 2012

Issue 1

Call for a Constitutional Convention

Every 20 years voters are automatically asked whether they wish to create a convention to revise, alter, or amend the state constitution

Ballot Language

Catholic Conference of Ohio's Reflections on Issue 1

Issue 2


Establishes an independent citizens commission to redraw legislative districts.

Ballot Language

Full Text

Official Argument For Issue 2

Official Argument Against Issue 2

Catholic Conference of Ohio's Reflections on Issue 2

Arguments in Favor of Redistricting proposal

Voters First

Arguments Opposing the Redistricting Proposal

Protect Your Vote

Need More Information

Contact Jim Tobin , 614-224-7147