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Election Issues

Pope Francis and USCCB Send Messages to President Biden

Prayers offered for wisdom, strength, unity

Pope Francis extended "cordial good wishes" to President Biden.  He wrote in part: "...At a time when the grave crises facing our human family call for farsighted and united responses, I pray that your decisions will be guided by a concern for building a society marked by authentic justice and freedom, together with unfailing respect for the rights and dignity of every person, especially the poor, the vulnerable and those who have no voice. I likewise ask God, the source of all wisdom and truth, to guide your efforts to foster understanding, reconciliation and peace within the United States and among the nations of the world in order to advance the universal common good..." 

Archbishop José H. Gomez, President of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued a statement welcoming President Biden’s call for national healing and unity.  The statement refers to Mr. Biden’s piety and personal story, his moving witness to how his Catholic faith has brought him solace in times of darkness and tragedy, and his longstanding commitment to the Gospel’s priority for the poor as "hopeful and inspiring."

At the same time, the message raised the Church's deep concerns about many threats to human life and dignity in our society. "...I must point out that our new President has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender. Of deep concern is the liberty of the Church and the freedom of believers to live according to their consciences. Our commitments on issues of human sexuality and the family, as with our commitments in every other area — such as abolishing the death penalty or seeking a health care system and economy that truly serves the human person — are guided by Christ’s great commandment to love and to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters, especially the most vulnerable..."

 

U.S. Bishop Chairman Urges Peace Following Reports Warning of Plans for Additional Violence at State Capitols and U.S. Capitol

. . . the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Gal 5:22-23).

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, issued a statement urging peace. 

“...Please look into your heart.  Look at the images of the events on January 6. Look at the messages that accompanied them on social media.   Look at the symbols of racial hatred in the crowd.  If you supported this, or are considering further actions in the coming week, ask: is what I intend the fruit of the Holy Spirit?  Are my intentions expressions of love for others, including those I may consider enemies?  Are they reflections of joy? Will they lead to peace? Do they exhibit patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control?  The violence of January 6, and the many voices that urged it on, including some political leaders, were the opposite of these things..."

U.S. Bishops’ President Condemns Violent Protests and Prays for Safety as Chaos Threatens U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON —Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), issued the following statement in response to today’s violence in the United States Capitol:

“I join people of good will in condemning the violence today at the United States Capitol. This is not who we are as Americans. I am praying for members of Congress and Capitol staff and for the police and all those working to restore order and public safety. 

“The peaceful transition of power is one of the hallmarks of this great nation. In this troubling moment, we must recommit ourselves to the values and principles of our democracy and come together as one nation under God. I entrust all of us to the heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. May she guide us in the ways of peace, and obtain for us wisdom and the grace of a true patriotism and love of country.”

President of U.S. Bishops’ Conference Issues Statement on 2020 Presidential Election

Catholics have a special duty to be peacemakers, to promote fraternity and mutual trust, and to pray for a renewed spirit of true patriotism in our country

Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement congratulating President-elect Biden.  He also called upon  Catholics to respect the free expression of opinions and treat one another with charity and civility, even as we might disagree deeply in our debates on matters of law and public policy.

 

 

Ohio Bishops Offer "Reflections on Choosing Political Candidates"

Updated handout offers reflection questions and references based upon the USCCB "Faithful Citizenship" Document

This Catholic Conference of Ohio educational/bulletin insert offers reflections on:

Promoting the Sacredness of Human Life;
Applying a Consistent Moral Framework;
Making Decisions based upon Prudential Discernment; 
Serving as Models of Civil Dialogue


USCCB document: Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship

2020 Election Novena Resources


Civilize It is a non-partisan call to focus on the dignity of all people, even when we disagree, and to put faith in action by bearing witness to a better way forward


USCCB Releases Short Videos on Voting and Faithful Citizenship

Available on-line and in English, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has released videos to inspire prayer and action in political life and to help Catholics apply the Church’s teaching as handed down by Pope Francis.  The videos complement Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, the bishops’ teaching document for the faithful on the political responsibility of Catholics, and they seek to help the faithful participate in public life, prioritize faith over partisan politics, engage with civility, and respond to pressing issues of our day. Each video ends with a prayer.

The videos, which are available on the USCCB’s YouTube channel in four languages (English, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese), are titled:

• Catholics Participate in Public Life
Catholics Protect Human Life and Dignity
Catholics Promote the Common Good
Catholics Love their Neighbors
Faithful Citizens Work with Christ as He Builds His Kingdom (a compilation of the four videos)

U. S. Bishops Approve Additions to Teaching Document on Political Responsibility

A short introductory letter and five short video scripts approved to supplement "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship"

An introductory letter  addressing current issues of the day and references to the teachings of Pope Francis was approved by USCCB to supplement  the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' existing document, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. The letter affirms the "richness" that our faith brings to the public square, and addresses challenges that have become more pronounced:

"Pope Francis has continued to draw attention to important issues such as migration, xenophobia, racism, abortion, global conflict, and care for creation. In the United States and around the world, many challenges demand our attention.

The threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself, because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family, and because of the number of lives destroyed. At the same time, we cannot dismiss or ignore other serious threats to human life and dignity such as racism, the environmental crisis, poverty and the death penalty."

Introductory Letter

Introductory Letter References to Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation Rejoice and Be Glad #25, #101

Archdiocese of Cincinnati establishes a "Civility Campaign" for election dialogues

"Civilize It" campaign a model for other dioceses

The Civilize It Campaign invites people to consider taking a three-part pledge to respect civility, to reflect clarity in their point of view and to encounter others with compassion. Civility in politics is a virtue. The campaign stresses that respectful dialogue can take place among people of differing political views. It compliments the USCCB's Faithful Citizenship Program.
 

Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship

Catholic Bishops of the United States Update Teaching Guide on Political Responsibility

 Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility addresses four questions:

  1. Why does the Church teach about issues affecting public policy?

  2. Who in the Church should participate in political life?

  3. How does the Church help the Catholic faithful to speak about political and social questions

  4. What does the Church say about Catholic social teaching in the public square

The Statement is not intended to tell Catholics for whom or against whom to vote.

Additional Information on Election Issues

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