Catholics and Voting

Polling Station signAs the United States elects most of its Congress and its President, I thought it would be useful to mention the Catholic Church’s official positions on voting, community and political involvement, and the responsibilities of voters.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of quotations, just some statements from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Please note: we are not taking sides or endorsing any candidate, just presenting official Church teaching. Taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church #2238-2246 (click to read in its entirety).

It is the duty of citizens to contribute along with the civil authorities to the good of society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity, and freedom. The love and service of one’s country follow from the duty of gratitude and belong to the order of charity. Submission to legitimate authorities and service of the common good require citizens to fulfill their roles in the life of the political community.

Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one’s country…

Those who exercise authority should do so as a service. “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant.” The exercise of authority is measured morally in terms of its divine origin, its reasonable nature and its specific object. No one can command or establish what is contrary to the dignity of persons and the natural law.

The exercise of authority is meant to give outward expression to a just hierarchy of values in order to facilitate the exercise of freedom and responsibility by all…

Political authorities are obliged to respect the fundamental rights of the human person. They will dispense justice humanely by respecting the rights of everyone, especially of families and the disadvantaged.

The political rights attached to citizenship can and should be granted according to the requirements of the common good. They cannot be suspended by public authorities without legitimate and proportionate reasons. Political rights are meant to be exercised for the common good of the nation and the human community.

Please pray for the United States and its citizens as we make these important voting decisions.

About Jonathan Bennett

Jonathan Bennett is a writer, speaker, and small business owner. He started ChurchYear.Net in 2004, along with his brother David. The site gets over one million visitors a year. His writings have also appeared in church bulletins, newspapers, and other media.

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