We left off last week with the question “Can I discuss the political issues in the light of our church’s teaching before going in the usual direction that I am familiar with?”
In other words we start with our identity as Catholics first and go on from there. The US Bishops have a document, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” that outlines principles of Catholic Social Teaching, that you can get at usccb.org. This document can help us as we form our conscience, which is that interior space where I hear what is true, what is good and what is of God.
We have to study the issues and analyze the arguments on these issues. There are many points of view on a given issue, like” trade.” Can we listen to views that are opposed to our own and respond to them with facts and analysis rather than with emotion and insults?
Archbishop John Hester of Santa Fe who has written on the election, and some of whose material I have been using, also talks about “prudence”. This enables us to “discern our true good in every circumstance…to determine what is most fitting in a specific context and to act decisively”.
Despite all the analysis of issues we may still decide on a candidate on an emotional and impulsive level and vote for that candidate.
Hopefully, I will pay attention to all that I have outlined in these few pieces, and after study, reflection and prayer choose the candidate that I think is best suited and qualified to lead the country. I will then have done my best to be a responsible, informed citizen and a committed Catholic Christian in exercising my vote in the upcoming election.