Appleton, WI

Oct 8: Day by Day with Father Bill


-From Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility

(60) The Church is principled but not ideological. As St Pope John Paul II wrote in his encyclical Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, “The Church’s social doctrine is not … an ideology, but rather the accurate formulation of the results of a careful reflection on the complex realities of human existence, in society and in the international order in the light of faith and of the Church’s tradition…” We cannot compromise basic principles or moral teaching. We are committed to clarity about our moral teaching and to civility. In public life, it is important to practice the virtues of charity and justice that are at the core of our Tradition. We should work with others in a variety of ways to advance our moral principles.

(61) In light of these principles and the blessings we share as part of a free and democratic nation, we bishops vigorously repeat our call for a renewed kind of politics:
Focused more on moral principles than on the latest polls
Focused more on the needs of the weak than on benefits for the strong
Focused more on the pursuit of the common good than on the demands of narrow interests
(62) This kind of political participation reflects the social teaching of our Church and the best traditions of our nation.

Note: The Bishops’ document moves into Part II, which is a review of the Church’s teaching on major issues. This list includes Human Life, Promoting Peace, Marriage and Family Life, Religious Freedom, Preferential Option for the Poor and Economic Justice, Health Care, Migration, Catholic Education, Promoting Justice and Countering Violence, Combatting Unjust Discrimination, Care for our Common Home [Addressing Global Climate Change], Communication, Media, and Culture, and Global Solidarity.

As I have said many times before, no political party or candidate embodies the full social teaching of the Catholic Church. There are a multitude of pro-life issues that are interconnected and cannot be separated from each other. Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago often used the image of Jesus’ seamless garment which could not be ripped into pieces by the Roman soldiers standing at the foot of Jesus’ Cross.

Whenever we vote, we do so after prayerfully considering all these life issues. Which candidate will help us move closer to the realization of God’s Kingdom in our midst?

If you would like to study further the document Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility, here is the link:

Father Bill +