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Faithful Citizenship

 
What is Faithful Citizenship?
  • It is a call to political responsibility. 
  • It is a call to become informed and to form our consciences in accord with the Gospel and our Catholic faith, and then to become active in the public square and the political process -- including voting. Our Catholic faith offers us valuable principals and encourages active participation in the political life of our nation, state and communities.
 
Pope Francis reminds us, “We need to participate for the common good. Sometimes we hear: ‘a good Catholic is not interested in politics.’ This is not true: good Catholics immerse themselves in politics by offering the best of themselves so that the leader can govern." (Pope Francis, Sept. 16, 2013)
 
From the Catholic Spirit, August 27, 2020:
 
Message from Fr. Wilson, October 8, 2020:
 
 
Online Voter Information
 
The Catholic Bishops of the United States have re-released their quadrennial document, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility.” This document provides a solid reflection on the responsibility of faithful Christians to be engaged in the public square and to inform and form their consciences according to the Gospel and Catholic Social and Moral Teaching.
Information about the issues of the day, including access to the full text of "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship" can be found on the website of the U.S. Catholic Bishops, https://www.usccb.org/topics Click on “Faithful Citizenship” in the topics list. (Scroll down to Top Forming Consciences Resources.)
 
The USCCB has produced five excellent short videos that speak to our call to Faithful Citizenship.
 
 
The website of the Minnesota Catholic Conferencewww.mncatholic.org/resources– offers information about Catholic Social and Moral Teaching on local and national issues. (The MCC is the public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Minnesota.)
 
The website of the Minnesota Secretary of Statewww.mnvotes.org – provides information about voting, registering to vote, finding your polling place, viewing sample ballots, and more. 
 
Other helpful websites . . . .
www.catholicvote.org (Election related information from a Catholic perspective)
 
www.mccl.org  (Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life)
 
www.lakevillemn.gov (City of Lakeville election information)
 
 
 
Excerpts from Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility.
 
“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, 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.’” (Introductory Letter)
 
“The Church equips its members to address political and social questions by helping them to develop a well-formed conscience. Catholics have a serious and lifelong obligation to form their consciences in accord with human reason and the teaching of the Church. Conscience is not something that allows us to justify doing whatever we want, nor is it a mere “feeling” about what we should or should not do. Rather, conscience is the voice of God resounding in the human heart, revealing the truth to us and calling us to do what is good while shunning what is evil. Conscience always requires serious attempts to make sound moral judgments based on the truths of our faith. As stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 'Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act that he is going to perform, is in the process of performing, or has already completed. In all he says and does, man is obliged to follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right' (CCC, 1778)." (paragraph 17)
 
"Two temptations in public life can distort the Church’s defense of human life and dignity:
The first is a moral equivalence that makes no ethical distinctions between different kinds of issues involving human life and dignity. The direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life from the moment of conception until natural death is always wrong and is not just one issue among many. It must always be opposed.
The second is the misuse of these necessary moral distinctions as a way of dismissing or ignoring other serious threats to human life and dignity. The current and projected extent of environmental degradation has become a moral crisis especially because it poses a risk to humanity in the future and threatens the lives of poor and vulnerable human persons here and now. Racism and other unjust discrimination, the use of the death penalty, resorting to unjust war, the use of torture,4 war crimes, the failure to respond to those who are suffering from hunger or a lack of health care, pornography, redefining civil marriage, compromising religious liberty, or an unjust immigration policy are all serious moral issues that challenge our consciences and require us to act. These are not optional concerns which can be dismissed." (paragraph 27-29)
 
"In light of (Catholic teaching) and the blessings we share as part of a free and democratic nation, we bishops vigorously repeat our call for a renewed kind of politics focused more on moral principles than on the latest polls; more on the needs of the weak than on benefits for the strong; more on the pursuit of the common good than on the demands of narrow interests. This kind of political participation reflects the social teaching of our Church and the best traditions of our nation." (paragraph 61-62)
 
"Catholics from every walk of life can bring their faith and our consistent moral framework to contribute to important work in our communities, nation, and world on an ongoing basis, not just during election season. In this coming year and beyond, we urge leaders and all Catholics to respond in prayer and action to the call to faithful citizenship. In doing so, we live out the call to holiness and work with Christ as he builds his kingdom of love."
"Merciful Father,
Thank you for inviting each of us to join in your work of building the kingdom of love, justice, and peace.
Draw us close to you in prayer as we discern your call in our families and communities.
Send us forth to encounter all whom you love: those not yet born, those in poverty, those in need of welcome.
Inspire us to respond to the call to faithful citizenship, during election season and beyond.
Help us to imitate your charity and compassion and to serve as models of loving dialogue.
Teach us to treat others with respect, even when we disagree, and seek to share your love and mercy.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen"
(Introductory Letter)