Among candidates for elected office, the choices for voters can be perplexing. In any election, a Catholic is obligated to vote according to the judgment of correct conscience. This requires the Catholic voter to be informed about Church teaching found in definitive sources, such as the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Sacred Scripture, and Sacred Tradition, as well as the positions held by candidates and their party platforms.
The more fundamental the issue, like human life, marriage or religious freedom, the greater priority the issue possesses in the judgment of correct conscience. The exercise of a correct conscience requires that a Catholic vote for the candidate whose positions best correspond to the Church’s moral teaching on such fundamental issues.
The authentic teachings of the Catholic Church are timeless realities that defy being categorized as fossilized relics of a remote past. They are the legitimate expression of the teachings of Jesus Christ, and when lived out, they define us as Christians. These teachings exist because God cares about how we live and what happens to us.
The question to ask is fundamental. In voting for a candidate, to what end am I contributing? What goal am I seeking to accomplish? Simply stated, voting both endorses a candidate’s goals and contributes to accomplishing them.
This statement is made without prejudice to any candidate or political party. It is intended rather to remind the Catholics of this Diocese that voting is a serious matter and can have immediate as well as eternal consequences, for we will ultimately stand before God for the decisions we make and the actions we take (cf. Romans 14:12).