Volume 3, Part 1

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There is interrelatedness to so-called social, political, economic, and environmental issues. This is so because of common points of reference; the subject or object is either human being(s) and/or our environment(s). Also, there is interrelatedness between humanity and the rest of the world; taken together, all can be said to constitute an ecosystem. An ecosystem is a community of living organisms in conjunction with the non-living components of their environments interacting as a system. In current usage, the term "culture" is used to distinguish human life in one group from another, i.e., culture includes language, beliefs, morality, customs, institutions, and physical objects – including man-made objects that make up part of our environments.

This having been stated, when a person is addressing a moral or ethical issue related to the culture or environment it may necessarily have a political implication; politics is about policy. The Constitution guarantees every American the right to make statements with political implications – it is considered a duty. Catholic clergy, however, are expected to restrain themselves and not go so far as to publicly endorse a particular candidate or political party. They are obliged, however, to address moral and ethical issues.

It is the role of Catholic clergy to teach, sanctify, and shepherd the flock entrusted to them for spiritual and material care (e.g., corporal works of mercy). Therefore, clergy are required to teach general moral principles and values to the faithful, instruct them as to how to apply moral principles and values to particular and specific instances of everyday life, and, themselves, model such behaviors. The faithful, in turn, are obliged to properly form their consciences by learning these moral principles and articles of revealed faith, make proper judgments as to what are right and wrong behaviors, model what is right and just, and advocate for good behavior as public policy.

Deacon Joseph B. Gorini, Mechanicsburg PA  <///><  [First Published August 26, 2012]

Category: Volume 3

Module 1

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Module 2

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