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US bishops re-issue Faithful Citizenship voter guide

October 04, 2011

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has re-released Faithful Citizenship, a voter guide prepared before the 2008 elections. The text of the guide is unchanged, although the 2011 edition includes a new introduction.

Faithful Citizenship urges Catholic voters to oppose "intrinsic evils" such as abortion and euthanasia. However, the guide also says that voters should take into consideration other "serious moral questions" including religious freedom, the protection of marriage and family life, immigration, war and peace, and economic welfare.

Pro-life activists complained that the original text of Faithful Citizenship offered protective cover for Catholic politicians who supported legal abortion, but could claim to be following the bishops' guidance on issues such as welfare and immigration reform.

The introduction to the new edition admits that Faithful Citizenship has "at times been misused to present an incomplete or distorted view of the demands of faith." Nevertheless, the introduction insists that the entire document remains an important guide for Catholic voters.

The new edition of Faithful Citizenship was unveiled on October 4. The introduction is signed by Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, the president of the USCCB; and by the chairmen of the USCCB committees that touch on political issues.


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  • Posted by: - Oct. 05, 2011 11:37 AM ET USA

    It is not to believed [except that it is] that a document highly ignored by Catholics has been reissued as a guide. A man may advocate killing grandparents, but he has the "saving" grace of being to nice to dogs... In what world do these bishops live? They certainly have little theological training. Concern for the poor does not offset promotion of baby killing. To the wicked man who tried to get into because he once gave a dime to a poor man, the Lord responded "Give him back his dime".

  • Posted by: Gregory108 - Oct. 05, 2011 4:57 AM ET USA

    I wish they would junk this document! Throw it out! It allows anyone to vote any way they want and justify it. It says little or nothing and justifies almost everything. The new introduction does not salvage it. I agree with Cornelius that the bishops can't bring themselves to admit that one of our two parties has become the chief proponent of intrinsic evils, mostly because most of the bishops likely come from homes where "greatgrandpa was a Democrat, as was grandpa as was am I!"

  • Posted by: - Oct. 04, 2011 7:13 PM ET USA

    The Bishops are reluctant to connect the dots for fear of being labeled partisan Republicans by the usual coterie of left-wing Catholics. They cannot bring themselves to admit publicly that one of our major parties, a party that has traditionally been a bedfellow of Catholics, is now the CHIEF proponent of intrinsic evils and is crafting a confrontation between the Church and State.

  • Posted by: rpp - Oct. 04, 2011 6:16 PM ET USA

    Defender's juxtaposition of these recent developments is thought-provoking and does make one wonder what is really going on.

  • Posted by: Defender - Oct. 04, 2011 4:11 PM ET USA

    Let's see if I get this right...A report was just released stating that a number of big companies deliberately censor religious ads, etc. Then the USCCB initiates an ad hoc committee concerned with religious liberty. This is then followed by this revelation that the voter guide has been reissued without changes? Hello, is anybody there?