Vote with an Informed Conscience

“We are called to bring together our principles and our political choices, our values and our votes to help build a better world.”

The Church affirms that every Catholic is called to prayerful, active, and responsible participation in the political process. Therefore, we urge all Catholics who are eligible, to register and vote, while being faithful to what is truly authentic and supporting that which best serves the common good. As is true of those who are called to vote, those who are ineligible can offer valuable contributions during the election season through concerted study of the social teachings of the Church and the candidates, insightful dialogue with others, involvement in campaigns, and heartfelt prayer.

The issues that officials and the general public face are varied, so at times, choosing candidates may seem difficult or overwhelming. As such, it may be helpful to remember that not all issues are equally important or urgent. Some are more fundamental such as those related to life and dignity of the human person. Matters of intrinsic evil, such as abortion and euthanasia, must always be rejected or opposed. Additionally, Catholic teaching impels us to elevate human dignity and support the common good.

To assist with choices in the voting booth, we suggest you review the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Candidate Questionnaire Project, which polls candidates on important issues that are likely to come before them as elected officials. Responses to this year’s eight questions are available at http://www.flaccb.org/CQP/2014/candidates.html.

It is through such study, discussion, and prayer that our consciences are properly formed and prepared for voting. After such preparation, let us apply our values in the voting booth and help shape a society that defends human life and dignity, preserves the family, protects religious freedom, and assists the poor and vulnerable. Beyond the voting booth, let us proactively learn more about our faith and our role in society. One positive way to do so is to join the Florida Catholic Advocacy Network available at www.flaccb.org.

May God grant us wisdom as we seek his love and blessings on our cherished state and country.

Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States with Introductory Note, 2011

To read the Florida Catholic Bishops Voting statement in Spanish, click here.

Amendment 2 — Florida Catholic Bishops cite concerns that require a closer look. Click here for [English] and [Spanish]

To read about the Candidate Questionnaire Project and particularly candidates in the 17-county region of the Diocese of St. Augustine, sponsored by the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops, click here for [English]  [Spanish].