“a good catholic meddles in politics”

life is a gift from God– the Spirit dwells within each of us. we are made in the image and likeness of God and because of this, there is a sacredness to each of our lives.

issues that relate to the respect for human life are where our faith is lived out. to respect life is to love.

the beloved, late cardinal bernardin of chicago was an example of compassion and faith. he offered a wonderful image that captures the essence of the sanctity of all human life– the seamless garment. the metaphor comes from John 19:23: the tunic that jesus wore to his death on calvary was without seams. this seamless garment covered the Body of Christ. there is a inter-relatedness of all life issues in that they affect and influence each other. the various areas of life issues are wide and varied: restorative justice, immigration, poverty, education reform, abortion, human trafficking, war, economic justice, environment, race relations, and many more. the list of topics is daunting and no one person is an expert in them all ( https://www.usccb.org/topics ). these issues challenge us to respect life through knowing what is the societal common good in the areas and how there are interconnected.

in the usa, we tend to compartmentalize life. perhaps we have to do this given the often complex world through which we must navigate. it is not easy to see the inter-related bigger picture. but through lives of prayer, being informed, listening, and dialogue, we do the best we can to live our lives in the Spirit with jesus’ example. we realize that our actions have consequences– both positive and negative. but we choose as our conscience dictates. no one can violate our conscience (see catechism 1776-1794).

as we approach the general election, on facebook there are many ads and posts that aim to influence us. some posts point to an individual that claims that catholics cannot vote for a certain candidate or must vote for a certain candidate. the tone of these posts can often be uncharitable. while everyone is entitled to an opinion, these claims can go against what our church actually teaches. one can always find an individual church leader that claims one thing or another— especially in a soundbite. be we ought to pause if it is just one person who says it. we have to critically think about how it relates to the collective wisdom of human experience and faith.

the unified voices of our leaders are more reliable sources. well established principles of our faith are a stronger ground on which to stand. bishops, priests and deacons are prohibited to endorse particular candidates and political parties. we believe in the separation of church and state so that our faith will be co-opted.

the more difficult thing is to go through a soul searching, prayerful discernment of having an informed conscience before we vote.

as we come upon the general election, the bishops of the usa give us many resources to form our consciences as we exercise our civic responsibility of voting ( https://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/faithful-citizenship/forming-consciences-for-faithful-citizenship-title )

the conference of major superiors of men represent the voices of men’s religious orders (such as claretians, franciscans, jesuits, salesians etc) in the usa. here are their areas of emphasis that can help inform us: https://www.cmsm.org/justiceandpeace/issues/

also, women’s religious have great collective wisdom. there is a coalition of catholic nuns who advocates for our catholic social teachings (networkadvocates.org) offers an analysis of the various issues that affect the respect for human life:

may God enlighten our minds and hearts in all the life issues of our world. may the Spirit give us courage and strength to advocate for the seamless garment of respect for all human life. may this be our expression of our love for God —loving our neighbor.


  1. DC says:

    Yup…exactly. Keep preaching this way of looking at the world.


    1. frarthurcmf says:

      thanks dc… i try to figure out what the Spirit is doing and how best to respond. Godspeed you


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