“An authentic faith … always involves a deep desire to change the world, to transmit values, to leave this earth somehow better than we found it … if indeed the just ordering of society and of the state is a central responsibility of politics, the Church cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice.” (Evangeli Gaudium) Pope Francis
In article 2240 of the
Catechism of the Catholic Church
, it states: “Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and defend one’s country.”
It also says in Romans 13:7, “Pay to all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.
As Christian, we have a profound duty to bring about the best result for the common good by how we think and behave as citizens of this country. We are asked and challenged by the relationship we have with Jesus Christ to put the good of our society and our fellow citizens above our personal needs, desires, and wants. Consequently, the primary question that needs to be answered, especially as a Catholic voter, is whether the need of the weakest and most defenseless is being addressed properly. As potential voters, we are the privileged who share the opportunity to contribute to our nation and the common good by bringing the values and teachings of Jesus Christ to bear on the various issues that presently face our nation.
There is a pamphlet published entitled A Guide to Catholic Voting. The issued addressed in the pamphlet should concern each and every one who has a relationship with the Lord, Jesus the Christ. This article is a direct reflection of that pamphlet.
First issue: Does the Church tell me whom I should vote for? The answer is NO! The Catholic Church does not tell us who to vote for when we enter the voting booth. The Catholic Church does not endorse any candidate or list of candidates running for office nor does the Church tell its members which party to join. Instead, Catholics are to use their right judgment and good conscience as they apply the litmus test of the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Church core values to the possible choices offered for election in the voting booth. As Catholics following, in sometimes a difficult manner, the path of discipleship, we need to evaluate the issues and candidates in the light of our Catholic faith. It is then that we find the challenge to live out our faith by getting actively involved by not only voting but also participating in civic activities.
More to come ….