This just in, from the USCCB:
A new introduction to the U.S. bishops’ document on political responsibility reminds Catholics that some issues “involve the clear obligation to oppose intrinsic evils which can never be justified,” while others “require action to pursue justice and promote the common good.”
The brief Introductory Note to the 2011 reissue of “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” was signed by the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the chairmen of nine USCCB committees. It was approved by the bishops’ Administrative Committee at its mid-September meeting and made public Oct. 4.
The introduction says that “Faithful Citizenship,” one in a series of documents that have been issued before every presidential election for nearly 35 years, “has at times been misused to present an incomplete or distorted view of the demands of faith in politics” but “remains a faithful and challenging call to discipleship in the world of politics.”
“It does not offer a voters guide, scorecard of issues or direction on how to vote,” the introduction adds. “It applies Catholic moral principles to a range of important issues and warns against misguided appeals to ‘conscience’ to ignore fundamental moral claims, to reduce Catholic moral concerns to one or two matters, or to justify choices simply to advance partisan, ideological or personal interests.”
The introduction lists six “current and fundamental problems, some involving opposition to intrinsic evils and others raising serious moral questions:”
– Abortion “and other threats to the lives and dignity of others who are vulnerable, sick or unwanted.”
– Conscience threats to Catholic ministries in health care, education and social services.
– “Intensifying efforts to redefine marriage” or to undermine it as “the permanent, faithful and fruitful union of one man and one woman.”
– An economic crisis that has increased national and global unemployment, poverty and hunger, requiring efforts to “protect those who are poor and vulnerable as well as future generations.”
– “The failure to repair a broken immigration system.”
– “Serious moral questions” raised by wars, terror and violence, “particularly the absence of justice, security and peace in the Holy Land and throughout the Middle East.”
Check out the USCCB website for the document itself.