The document Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States and its Introductory Note were developed by the chairmen, in consultation with the membership, of the Committees on Catholic Education, Communications, Cultural Diversity in the Church, Doctrine, Domestic Justice and Human Development, Evangelization and Catechesis, International Justice and Peace, Migration, Pro-Life Activities; the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage; and the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). It was approved by the full body of bishops at its November 2015 General Meeting. It has been directed for publication by the undersigned.
Msgr. Ronny E. Jenkins
General Secretary, USCCB
"We need to participate for the common good. Sometimes we hear: a good Catholic is not interested in politics. This is not true: good Catholics immerse themselves in politics by offering the best of themselves so that the leader can govern."
- Pope Francis, 9/16/13
The Catholic bishops of the United States are pleased to offer once again to the Catholic faithfulForming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship(en Español), our teaching document on the political responsibility of Catholics. This statement represents our guidance for Catholics in the exercise of their rights and duties as participants in our democracy. We urge our pastors, lay and religious faithful, and all people of good will to use this statement to help form their consciences; to teach those entrusted to their care; to contribute to civil and respectful public dialogue; and to shape political choices in the coming election in light of Catholic teaching. The statement lifts up our dual heritage as both faithful Catholics and American citizens with rights and duties as participants in the civil order.