As we near election time, we would like to remind each of us, ourselves included, of the solemn responsibility that lies before us in choosing our elected leaders. The Sisters of Charity of New York would particularly like to take this opportunity to remind our brother bishops and priests of the principles set forth by the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops’ policy statement, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” (USCCB 2015, reissued in 2020). We highlight basic principles from that document that maintain that the clergy are prohibited from:
- Providing support for or opposition to candidates for elected office
- Preparing or distributing campaign literature or materials that favor or oppose a specific candidate or political party
- Using media to support, promote, endorse, or oppose any particular political party or candidate.
In January 2020, Pope Francis told U.S. Catholic Bishops that their job is to step back from partisan politics and help their faithful discern based on values. To this end, we recommend an excellent talk given in February by Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego on voting with faith and conscience:
As Sisters of Charity, we support the principles set forth by the U.S. Catholic Bishops and urge each one of us to discern our individual vote with the seriousness, thoughtfulness, and care it deserves. This discernment demands that we go beyond single issues and look at Gospel values in their entirety, as well as the integrity of each candidate in relation to the values we espouse. We hope all voters will join us in doing the same.
The Leadership Team
Thank you for being so forthright and strong in your refection on the upcoming election.
I truly appreciated reading about faith and conscience regarding our elections; takes reflection and prayer; not an easy thing in our conflicted divisive society. A great call now to be “faith filled prudent disciples” as Pope Francis mentioned. Thanks for inviting us to attend to this.