Volume 1, Part 9

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In 2007, the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, addressing the grave moral issues of our time, called the laity to join with the clergy in fulfillment of Christian political responsibility. To aid in the formation of conscience and to guide individual and collective Catholic action, the Bishops offered a moral framework based on seven key themes of Catholic social tradition: (1) The Right to Life and the Dignity of the Human Person; (2) The Call to Family, Community, and to Participation; (3) The Rights and Responsibilities of Human Beings; (4) The Preferential Option for the Poor and Vulnerable; (5) The Dignity of Work and Workers; (6) Human Solidarity; and (7) The Duty of Caring for God's Creation.

This moral framework does not easily fit with any contemporary political ideology. The seven moral themes are neither partisan nor sectarian – they address current critical moral or ethical issues and they reflect fundamental moral or ethical principles that should be applied. In cooperating with people of good will in resolving these moral issues, Catholics are neither being political nor ideological! Indeed, principled, apostolic, and evangelical Catholics in action are being authentically Catholic!

As the Body of Christ, with Christ as our head and the Holy Spirit as our guide, we cannot – and we must not – compromise basic Catholic principles or moral teaching! We are committed to clarity about our moral teaching and we are committed to civility in our dealings with others – especially in our involvement in the political process! We must practice the virtues of justice and charity that are at the core of our Catholic Tradition! There are many and varied ways to advance our moral principles, understanding that they are not all equal, but it is our duty to advance all of them!

Deacon Joseph B. Gorini, Mechanicsburg PA <///><  [First Published October 24, 2010]

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