“Responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation.”
~ Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship
What is the responsibility of the Catholic citizen?
Democratic civil society, if it is to remain just and free and attain the common good – and not descend into the self-interested and arbitrary rule of the powerful, where law is a matter of might rather than right – depends upon a virtuous and informed citizenry. We can think of our participation in the common good as the practical application of the teaching: “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-40). Any effort to build a good and just society can be undertaken only with these dual obligations to God and neighbor in mind.
The Faithful Citizenship guidance and other material should help all of us to better reflect on what we are reading and hearing about issues and candidates as the information is presented through the lens and filter of media sources which may have their own agenda. Being vigilant to the completeness, accuracy and truthfulness of what is being reported, and correcting it when necessary in our personal relations with others, is another way we as citizens can participate in promoting the common good and practice fruitful engagement in public life.
Faithful Citizenship Resources
- Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States (PDF version)
- Formando la conciencia para ser ciudadanos fieles: Llamado de los obispos católicos de Estados Unidos (PDF version)
- The Challenge of Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship (Part I of II: Our Call as Catholic Citizens)
- El reto de formar la conciencia para ser ciudadanos fieles (Parte I de II: Nuestro llamado como ciudadanos católicos)
- The Challenge of Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship (Part II of II: Making Moral Choices and Applying Our Principles)
- El reto de formar la conciencia para ser ciudadanos fieles (Parte II de II: Tomar decisiones morales y aplicar nuestros principios)
- Videos on Faithful Citizenship from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Catholic Standard editorial (PDF version)