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Wisconsin bishops offer guidance as voting season approaches

MADISON — The Wisconsin Catholic Conference (WCC), the public policy voice of Wisconsin’s bishops, is distributing resources to help Catholics reflect on what it means to be a faithful citizen.

“Faithful Citizenship” is the mindful consideration of public policy and voting issues through the lens of the church’s teaching. It is also a call to action to become involved with legislative policy and to exercise the right to vote, so as to uphold human dignity and promote the common good. Catholics are encouraged to utilize these resources as they navigate the election process and fulfill their responsibilities as voters.

As in years past, the WCC resources are based on the United States Bishops’ statement “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States” (faithfulcitizenship.org). As the U.S. bishops wrote in the “Introductory Note to Forming Consciences to Faithful Citizenship”:

“The threat of abortion remains our pre-eminent priority because it directly attacks our most vulnerable and voiceless brothers and sisters and destroys more than a million lives per year in our country alone. Other grave threats to the life and dignity of the human person include euthanasia, gun violence, terrorism, the death penalty, and human trafficking. There is also the redefinition of marriage and gender, threats to religious freedom at home and abroad, lack of justice for the poor, the suffering of migrants and refugees, wars and famines around the world, racism, the need for greater access to healthcare and education, care for our common home, and more.”

In a letter to all Wisconsin Catholics, the bishops of Wisconsin wrote: “On the eve of a new election cycle, may we all be inspired by the example of the Good Samaritan, who in mercy encountered, accompanied, and helped heal a stranger. He did so by ignoring divisiveness, anger, fear, and misinformation.”

The bishops propose that, as Catholics, we can emulate the Good Samaritan by putting Christ at the center of everything, learning about the Church’s Catholic Social Teaching, becoming politically engaged, and spreading love, mercy, and compassion.

Here is a copy of the letter, along with an overview of Catholic Social Teaching, visit https://onmiss.io/WisCatholicBishops.

Izzia is associate director for Human Life and Concerns for the WCC.

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