Thursday, November 15, 2007

"Forming Citizens for Faithful Citizenship"

With the election campaigning in full swing, a new document by the U.S. Bishop's conference has been approved and should be available soon.

I hope this document is better than the last document they put out. The last edition was, in my option... weak.

But the good Bishop's promise a completely revised version which "underwent multiple revisions and was brought before the whole bishop' conference for approval". It even passed with a 97.8% approval.

Well, I'm looking forward to reading it, however I remember a couple of years ago our parish men's group purchased a few hundred voter guides from Catholic Answers organization and our diocese decided to prohibit us from distributing them on church property. All this in favor of their then version of this new document (...which was very weak).

Catholic Answers puts out a terrific voters pamphlet which I highly recommend. You can check it out yourself HERE: VOTER'S GUIDE FOR SERIOUS CATHOLICS

The fact that the new document was approved by 97.8% consensus is a good sign. I still would like to know who the three votes against it came from.

Excerpt from CNA article:
Baltimore, Nov 14, 2007 / 11:56 am (CNA).- A new document concerning the duties of Catholic voters has been overwhelmingly approved at the Baltimore meeting of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops this morning. Many of the bishops expressed their belief that this is document is a great improvement over teachings from past years.

Titled "Forming Citizens for Faithful Citizenship," the document is an update to past conference statements of the same name. Unlike previous years, this version underwent multiple revisions and was brought before the whole bishops' conference for approval. The bishops approved the document with 97.8 % in favor and only three votes against it.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn led the presentation of the document to the bishops' conference. He said the document takes its inspiration from Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical "Deus Caritas Est," where the Pope says that the Church “wishes to help form consciences in political life.”

The bishop emphasized that following those words was their goal. "This document is not about bishops and politicians," he said, "it’s about helping Catholics form their consciences."

Excerpt from the U.S. Catholic Bishops on Faithful Citizenship:

WASHINGTON (November 14, 2007)– The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) today overwhelmingly approved a statement called Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States. The statement urges Catholics to be involved in public life and to use the values of their faith to shape their political choice. It was approved at the bishops’ general meeting in Baltimore, November 12-15.

“In this statement, we bishops do not intend to tell Catholics for whom or against whom to vote,” the bishops explain. “Our purpose is to help Catholics form their consciences in accordance with God’s truth. We recognize that the responsibility to make choices in political life rests with each individual in light of a properly formed conscience, and that participation goes well beyond casting a vote in a particular election.

”The church’s role in helping Catholics to form their consciences is a central theme of the document. “With this foundation,” the bishops explain, “Catholics are better able to evaluate policy positions, party platforms, and candidates’ promises and action in light of the Gospel and the moral and social teaching of the Church in order to help build a better world.

”The bishops affirm their legitimate role in public life. “The obligation to teach about moral values that should shape our lives, including our public lives, is central to [our] mission,” they state. “Our nation’s tradition of pluralism is enhanced, not threatened, when religious groups and people of faith bring their convictions and concerns into public life.

”Respect for the dignity of every human being is a foundation for Catholic teaching about “faithful citizenship.” The statement explains the necessity of opposing actions that are intrinsically wrong, such as abortion and euthanasia, because these actions involve directly andintentionally ending an innocent human life. It also affirms the obligation to promote the common good by combating such threats to human life and dignity as hunger, poverty, racism, unjust immigration policies, and unjust war. “Both opposing evil and doing good are essential obligations.”

I'll post a link to the document as soon as I find it.

No comments:

Post a Comment