PowerPoint Presentation on Faithful Citizenship

Living Our Faith, Loving Our Neighbor
in an Election Year (and Beyond)
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“We are also blessed with religious liberty
which safeguards our right to bring our
principles and moral convictions to 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 in public
Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,
“The obligation to teach about moral values
that should shape our lives, including our public
lives, is central to the mission given to the
Church by Jesus Christ.”
Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, no. 11
“In the Catholic Tradition,
responsible citizenship is a
virtue, and participation in
the political process is a
moral obligation. This
obligation is rooted in our
baptismal commitment…”
Forming Consciences for Faithful
Citizenship, no. 13
Our Baptismal Call
Rooted in Scripture
“Choose life...”
(Dt. 30:19)
“Woe to you who
enact unjust
statutes…” (Is. 10:1)
“Whatever you did
for one of these
least brothers of
mine, you did for
me” (Mt. 25:40).
“He has sent me to
bring Good News to the
poor…” (Lk. 4:18)
Faithful Citizenship
 Affirms role in political life
 Provides a moral
 Call to conscience
 Not a voter guide,
scorecard, etc.
“The Church wishes to help form
consciences in political life and to
stimulate greater insight into the
authentic requirements of justice as
well as greater readiness to act
Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est, no. 28
2012 Introductory Note
“We urge our Catholic pastors and
people to continue to use this
important statement to help them form
their consciences, to contribute to civil
and respectful public dialogue, and to
shape their choices in the coming
election in the light of Catholic
Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship
“Destruction of unborn
children through abortion”
and other threats to life
Efforts to
“redefine” and
“Wars, terror, and
violence” and their
“human and moral costs”
“An economic crisis which has
devastated lives”; need for
response that protects the poor
“Efforts to force Catholic
“The failure to repair a broken ministries to violate their
immigration system”
Life and Dignity of the Human Person
Center photo: Food distribution center, Mekelle, Ethiopia. Photo by Sean Sprague for Catholic Relief Services
Call to Family, Community and Participation
Rights and Responsibilities
Photo by Jim Stipe for Catholic Relief Services
Preferential Option for the Poor and
Photo credit: David Snyder/CRS
Dignity of Work & Rights of Workers
Photo credit: Ed Foster Jr./CRS
Photo credit: Sara A. Fajardo/CRS
Care for God’s Creation
Photo credit: CRS staff
A Call to Form Conscience
A Call to Exercise Prudence
Two Temptations
1. “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” (no. 28).
Two Temptations
2. “The misuse of these necessary moral
distinctions as a way of dismissing or ignoring
other serious threats to human life and dignity.
Racism and other unjust discrimination, the use
of the death penalty, resorting to unjust war, the
use of torture, war crimes, the failure to respond
to those who are suffering from hunger or a lack
of health care, or an unjust immigration policy
are all serious moral issues that challenge our
consciences and require us to act” (no. 29).
Two Duties
“There are some things we must
never do, as individuals or as a
society, because they are always
incompatible with love of God and
neighbor… They must always be
rejected and opposed and must
never be supported or condoned”
(no. 22).
Examples: abortion, euthanasia, human cloning,
embryonic stem cell research, genocide, torture,
racism, targeting of noncombatants in war
Two Duties
“Opposition to intrinsically evil acts…
should open our eyes to the good we
must do, that is, our positive duty to
contribute to the common good and
to act in solidarity with those in need”
(no. 24).
Example: Ensuring that basic needs are fulfilled and
that food, shelter, health care, education, and
meaningful work are available for all.
“Both opposing evil and doing good are essential” (no. 24).
Download the Two Feet resource at www.usccb.org/jphd in the “Resources and Tools” section
A Call to Participate
• Faithful Citizenship video, DVD
• Video series for priests
(coming soon)
• Bishops’ 2-minute videos:
Call to participate
Conscience formation
Civil dialogue
Jobs & Recession
Religious Liberty
Health Care
Climate Change
Peace in the Holy Land
International Religious Freedom
New Bulletin Inserts
Search “United States Conference of
Catholic Bishops” on Facebook and Twitter
Coming Soon
 Promotional
mailing to parishes from USCCB
 “Parish Guide” printed resource with
suggested timeline for implementing FCFC
PowerPoint available by request
Other Useful Resources
www.usccb.org (bottom of
home page)
Justice, Peace & Human
Catholic Campaign for Human
Pro-Life Activities
Migration Policy
Catholic Education
“In this coming election and beyond, we urge leaders and
all Catholics to share the message of faithful citizenship
and to use this document in forming their own
consciences, so we can act together to promote and
protect human life and dignity, marriage and family,
justice and peace in service to the common good. This
kind of political responsibility is a requirement of our
faith and our duty as citizens.”
Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,
Copyright © 2012, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, D.C. All
rights reserved. Diocesan-approved groups (including schools and parishes) may use
the presentation without alteration for educational purposes only. Under no
circumstances may the presentation be posted online or distributed via email or social
Excerpt from Deus Caritas Est © 2005 Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Vatican City. Used
with permission. All rights reserved.

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