On November 6, Catholics nationwide will have difficult decisions to make. Every four years, our consciousness as faithful Catholic Americans is challenged, as we deliberate between candidates for public office.
This year, the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach is collaborating with a number of Catholic organizations, including Pax Christi USA, NETWORK, the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, to form a coalition called Election 2012: Catholics Vote for the Common Good. The Election 2012 alliance will focus on creating platforms for each state and the District of Columbia that will be signed and delivered to candidates and public officials. These platforms, based on the concept of common good, will incite candidates to support issues pertaining to those who are marginalized and underprivileged.
It is important to take the approach of the “common good” when considering for whom to vote because it is a responsibility of our Catholic calling. The United States Council of Catholic Bishops wrote in Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, “The Catholic community brings important assets to the political dialogue about our nation’s future. We bring a consistent moral framework- drawn from basic human reason that is illuminated by Scripture and the teaching of the Church- for assessing issues, political platforms, and campaigns. We also bring broad experience in serving those in need- educating the young, caring for the sick, sheltering the homeless, helping women who face difficult pregnancies, feeding the hungry, welcoming immigrants and refugees, reaching out in global solidarity, and pursuing peace” (pg. 4).
The opportunity to vote that all American citizens have is one that should not be taken lightly. As Catholics, we are conscious of our service to our brothers and sisters and of how choices to live our life affect those around us. Pope Benedict XVI wrote in Deus Caritas Est, “As a political task, this cannot be the Church’s immediate responsibility. Yet, since it is also a most important human responsibility, the Church is duty-bound to offer, through the purification of reason and through ethical formation, her own specific contribution towards understanding the requirements of justice and achieving them politically” (sec. 28).
For more information, see the website: http://commongood2012.org/