Tag Archives: catholic

Catholic Democrats: Bishops doc on Faithful Citizenship due Nov 15.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will be voting to approve the latest edition of its quadrennial guidance on how the Church and the Faithful should participate in politics. It renders its guidance by asking and answering four questions.

The first question is “Why does the Church teach about issues affecting public policy?” In fact, Scriptures and the teaching of Jesus teach us much that informs our public policy. This includes showing us what is true and good, that all human beings are in God’s image, and are endowed with dignity and rights. This becomes the foundation on which our well-formed conscience is based.

The second question is “Who in the Church should participate in public life?” The Catechism is quite clear: “As far as possible, all citizens should take active part in public life.”(1913) But the Church also calls us to engage in a way that seeks to recognize the “dignity of every human being, the pursuit of the common good, and the protection of the weak and vulnerable.” We should be guided more by our well-formed conscience than by any political party or interest group.

The third question is “How does the Church help the Faithful to speak about political and social questions?” The Church does this by helping the faithful develop well-formed sciences, through its writing and teaching. It also fosters a spirit of prudence, whereby we attempt to discern true good in every circumstance. It also assists us in its teaching role providing a framework what allows us to make difficult moral choices.

The fourth question is “What does the Church say about Catholic social teaching in the public square?” The document concludes with seven key themes about its social teaching. The first theme is the consistent ethic of life, from conception until natural death. The second is the Church’s call to family and participation in society. The third is the human rights and human responsibilities. The fourth is the principle of having a preferential option for the poor and needy. The fifth is on the dignity of work and the rights of workings. The sixth theme is solidarity and an end to racism, divisiveness, extreme poverty and disease throughout the world. The final theme is about the care and stewardship of God’s creation.

The document is a worthwhile read for all Catholics of voting age, and should be available shortly after the November 12th-15th meeting.

Catholic Democrats Organizing in California

Support includes prominent members of Congress

SAN JOSE, Calif. – August 28, 2007 –  The Catholic Democrats, a national organization of Democratic Roman Catholics, are now organizing in California. Led by Democratic activist Bill Roth of San Jose, this group hopes to build a broad-based organization of California Catholics who are seeking to represent Catholic policy perspectives within the State Democratic Party, and to accentuate the ways in which the Democratic Party is working to advance humanistic goals so well-articulated in Catholic Social Teaching.

“California Catholics voted overwhelmingly for the Democratic Presidential candidate in 2004,” said Dr Patrick Whelan, Executive Director of the Catholic Democrats.  “We are excited to build our local organization in California as a voice for faithful Catholics who focus on Gospel values like ministering to the poor, welcoming immigrants, and working through non-violent means to solve the world’s problems.”

Support is in evidence from prominent elected officials. “As a devout Catholic, I believe faith instructs the public forum.  I support the efforts of the Catholic Democrats and welcome their efforts on the critical issues of our time:  the war in Iraq, families, health care, economic justice and environmental stewardship.  I see this organization as helping to further the noble goals for our country and our Party,” said Congresswoman Anna Eshoo.

“We as Catholics are at home within the Democratic Party precisely because it has long championed the ideals of Catholic Social Teaching: supporting worker’s rights, stewardship of the environment, care for the sick, and equality of opportunity for all, to name a few,” said Roth, who will be the group’s initial state director.  “In our view, the Democratic party is actually doing something to advance religious values.  In his latest encyclical, Pope Benedict makes it clear that we must not only practice charity, but also actively work for justice. I see this organization as the response to this call.”

The Catholic Democrats of California will also be forming an advisory board to provide advice an counsel to the group. Some of the initial members include Jerl Laws,  Director of Interfaith Outreach, California Democratic Party, and Chris Stampolis, DNC Member, and Immediate Past President of the California Democratic Council. Additional members will be added in the coming months.

For more information on the national organization, see http://www.catholicd…. For more information on the California organization, see http://www.catholicd…. For information on joining, please call 408-221-1847, or email [email protected].

About Catholic Democrats

Catholic Democrats is a national non-profit organization of concerned Catholics, based in Boston. The organization was founded in 2004 as an outgrowth of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ “Call to Faithful Citizenship,” which is rooted in “a consistent moral framework anchored in the scriptures and expressed in the teachings of the Church.” The Catholic Democrats have members in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, with active local groups in a growing number of states.

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