"Responsible citizenship is a virtue and participation in political life is a moral obligation."
-- Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship
The Catholic Church encourages its members to exercise their right to vote on election day, November 3, 2020, or by absentee ballot, which must be received at your city or town hall by 8 p.m. on that Tuesday.
As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "It is necessary that all participate, according to his position and role, in promoting the common good. This is inherent in the dignity of the human person ... As far as possible, citizens should take an active part in public life" (nos. 1913-1915).
While Catholics are encouraged to vote, the Catholic Church does not tell them for whom to vote, nor does it endorse candidates. Instead, the United States Bishops have stated that their aim is "to help Catholics form their consciences in accordance with God's truth." The bishops state, "We recognize that the responsibility to make choices in political life rests with each individual in light of a properly formed conscience, and that participation goes well beyond casting a vote in a particular election."
To assist Catholics as we approach election day, the Catholic bishops of the United States are pleased to share Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, their teaching document on the political responsibility of Catholics. In addition, you will find other helpful resources below, including Bishop Robert Deeley's recent reflection on the faithful citizenship that appeared in the September/October 2020 issue of Harvest magazine.
For additional resources, please visit the USCCB's faithful citizenship resource page.