Wednesday, October 22, 2008

WEDNESDAY QWOTE: On Being a Faithful Citizen

One of the great traditions represented in our American democracy is that of Roman Catholic social teaching. Every four years, the US Council of Catholic Bishops prepares a statement on Christian political responsibility, or "Faithful Citizenship." This insightful essay outlines what it means for followers of Christ to be involved as wise and faithful members of society, fulfilling their civic duties as an integral element of their discipleship. (Check out the website HERE.)

Today's quote comes from this statement.
"Unfortunately, politics in our country often can be a contest of powerful interests, partisan attacks, sound bites, and media hype. The Church calls for a different kind of political engagement: one shaped by the moral convictions of well-formed consciences and focused on the dignity of every human being, the pursuit of the common good, and the protection of the weak and vulnerable. The Catholic call to faithful citizenship affirms the importance of political participation and insists that public service is a worthy vocation. As Catholics, we should be guided more by our moral convictions than by our attachment to a political party or interest group. When necessary, our participation should help transform the party to which we belong; we should not let the party transform us in such a way that we neglect or deny fundamental moral truths. We are called to bring together our principles and our political choices, our values and our votes, to help build a better world."
The statement concludes with these points:
  • Participation in political life in light of fundamental moral principles is an essential duty for every Catholic and all people of good will.
  • The Church is involved in the political process but is not partisan.
  • The Church is engaged in the political process but should not be used.
  • The Church is principled but not ideological.
Furthermore, they 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.
May these principles and others like them inform our choices during this election season!

1 comment:

doubtisgood said...

This is a great quote for all people who strive to integrate their faith with their daily lives (though the guide is obviously more pointedly for Catholics).

My dilmena when the Catholic Church puts out something like this is that it has so many issues that it has handled so badly--that I never quite trust it. Individual Catholics--know them, love them, respect them, married into a whole family of them, worship with them---but the Catholic Church-that's a different matter.
But, I am glad you had it on your blog. I enjoy reading your posts.