Catholics are called to vote and be involved in the political process, even if we feel discouraged by the political climate or the choices before us on the ballot. Why? The Catholic faith teaches people to be concerned about others, especially the most vulnerable, and to help shape the moral character of society. Participating in politics, including through voting, is one way to carry out these tasks. Every day, elected officials make decisions that impact the community and the common good, and it is important that they hear from a perspective that is concerned with those who often do not have a voice, such as the unborn, the elderly, the disabled, the homeless, the immigrant, and the refugee. The commitment to be a faithful citizen and participate actively in our communities does not just end with voting, however, but is an ongoing responsibility. For more on this topic, read Our Call as Catholic Citizens.
In order to participate in the political realm, the Catholic Church calls for people of faith to develop a well-formed conscience, or understanding of right and wrong, that will inform their decisions. By learning and internalizing the social teachings of the Catholic Church, studying Scripture, examining the facts around various choices and issues, and praying about God’s will for one’s decisions, individuals are able to continually form their consciences. For more on this topic, read Development of Conscience.