January 2021 update: We must always continue to pray for our new president and for our country and work to promote the common good for our country.
There are several election prayer novenas going around and they are all good. A simple prayer, prayed often throughout the day, can also be good (and is easier to remember):
“Lord have mercy on our country!”
The Memorare, is also a very powerful prayer (scroll to the bottom of this page).
In the Catholic Tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation. — Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, No. 13.
“At all times and in all places, the Church should have true freedom to preach the faith, to teach her social doctrine, to exercise her role freely among men, and also to pass moral judgment in those matters which regard public order when the fundamental rights of a person or the salvation of souls require it.” Gaudium et Spes, 76
This is such a time and a place…
“Catholic bishops are not partisan players in our nation’s politics. We are pastors responsible for the souls of millions of Americans and we are advocates for the needs of all our neighbors… When we speak on issues in American public life, we try to guide consciences, and we offer principles. These principles are rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the social teachings of his Church. Jesus Christ revealed God’s plan of love for creation and revealed the truth about the human person, who is created in God’s image, endowed with God-given dignity, rights and responsibilities, and called to a transcendent destiny.” Statement on the Inauguration of Joseph R. Biden, Jr., as 46th President of the United States of America from Most Reverend José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
“The political divide in our nation is no longer between two major parties that “have the same goals but different ideas of how to get there.” That was once true, but is no longer. They have different goals, different views of America, totally divergent views of morality, and completely incompatible views of religion and the Church… The differences are matters of principle.” Fr Frank Pavone, Priests for Life
Are Catholics obligated to NOT vote for a pro-abortion candidate? What if you don't think abortion is a primary issue in this election and are more concerned about immigration, healthcare, education, etc.?If you don't know the answer to these questions, you should hear what Fr. Wade has to say!
Posted by EWTN on Monday, November 5, 2018
Please prayerfully listen to this presentation by Ralph Martin, who I believe has a clear understanding of the dynamics of our current election, from a thoroughly Catholic perspective.
RALPH MARTIN is president of Renewal Ministries in Ann Arbor, Michigan and director of graduate programs in the new evangelization at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit. He is visiting professor of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio and host of a weekly television program, The Choices We Face.
In Voting, especially for the President, our GOAL is to promote the COMMON GOOD
“The political community . . . exists for the common good: This is its full justification and meaning, and the source of its specific and basic right to exist. The common good embraces all those conditions of social life which enable individuals, families and organizations to achieve complete and efficacious fulfillment” ~Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes), 74.
As Catholics, we must consider all of the issues in making our decision on who to vote for. This means looking at the character, abilities, and policies of the candidates and their party platforms. It also means knowing how to assign the appropriate weight, based on the teachings of the Church, to the more important, foundational issues of life, marriage and religious liberty. Character and temperament matter, but so do public policies that will affect millions. For the presidential race, one should also consider the vice presidential running mate, who will automatically take a seat in the Senate, which is precariously balanced between pro-life and pro-abortion senators. The Vice President also could potentially become President if anything should happen to the President. Perhaps the most important task of our next President will be to appoint new supreme court justices, who will shape the laws of our nation for decades to come, with regard to abortion, marriage and religious liberty.
To achieve our goal of promoting the COMMON GOOD, we have to recognize that not all issues have equal weight. Some issues are foundational.
There is a hierarchy of values. Some issues are more important and outweigh many other issues put together. If we think of the common good for our country as a house, some issues represent “the crossbeams and walls of that house.” While others represent the “house’s foundation.” (see USCCB, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, no. 22)
“Disregard for the right to life, precisely because it leads to the killing of the person whom society exists to serve, is what most directly conflicts with the possibility of achieving the common good… It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop…” ~Pope Saint John Paul II, The Gospel of Life encyclical, 72; 101
“The promotion of the culture of life should be the highest priority in our societies. . . If the right to life is not defended decisively as a condition for all other rights of the person, all other references to human rights remain deceitful and illusory.” ~ Pope Saint John Paul II
“Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights—for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture—is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with the maximum determination” ~ Pope Saint John Paul II, Christifideles Laici, 38.
Analogy: if someone is attacking your child and trying to kill them, you don’t stop to consider if your child has the best health care, or if you need a better job, or if your child is being discriminated against at school. You immediately stop the attack! At that moment, nothing is more important than protecting their life! This scenario aptly describes our country today. Our unborn are under attack through legalized abortion and over sixty million have been killed. We have it within our ability, at the voting booth, to come to their defense.
Cardinal Raymond Burke outlines OUR CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE COMMON GOOD
“There is no element of the common good, no morally good practice, that a candidate may promote and to which a voter may be dedicated, which could justify voting for a candidate who also endorses and supports the deliberate killing of the innocent, abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, euthanasia, human cloning or the recognition of a same-sex relationship as legal marriage. These elements are so fundamental to the common good that they cannot be subordinated to any other cause, no matter how good.” ~Cardinal Burke
“The threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself, because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family, and because of the number of lives destroyed.” USCCB, Introductory letter to Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship (2020)
Because our bishops have defined abortion as the preeminent issue, we should look at where each candidate stands on this and other key issues.
Non Negotiable issues: Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) issued a document from the Congregation for the doctrine of the Faith identifying three foundational nonnegotiable issues we must always defend in the political process:
- protection of innocent life from abortion and euthenasia
- tradition marriage between one man and one woman
- religious liberty
They answer the question: “Is it morally permissible to vote for a candidate that supports an intrinsic evil?”
The Participation of Catholics in Political Life, from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
The Catholic Voter: How to form our conscience, by Fr. Rottman, posted by Diocese of Covington Pro Life Office
Inalienable Rights, by Fr. Martin Pitstick
Catholics in the Public Square by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known
that any one who fled to thy protection,
implored thy help
or sought thy intercession,
was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence,
We fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins my Mother;
to thee do we come, before thee we stand, sinful and sorrowful;
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not our petitions,
but in thy mercy hear and answer them. Amen.