Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Guidelines for Catholic Political Action

Phoenix, Oct. 28, 2005 (CNA) - “The ultimate political goal for Catholics must be the achievement of public policies and laws that result in the legal protection of all innocent human life and that promote the dignity of each human person without exception and compromise”, states a new document setting guidelines for political action.

The document was published by the Catholic Leaders Conference (CLC). It first reminded the importance of participation in the public debate, asserting a specific Catholic tradition in political action, and values this participation as a moral obligation. .

The first guideline the document stressed is the existence of a hierarchy between some issues that arise in political debate. Therefore the statements reasserts that “the first obligation of government is the protection of innocent human life from conception to natural death." Therefore setting life issues, such as – direct abortion, euthanasia, and the killing of unborn life for medical research, as non-negotiable.

On other issues, the document insists on the importance of Catholic principles such as compassion, justice and charity that would serve as guidelines on issues like taxes, education, foreign policy and immigration reform. It acknowledges that diversity of opinion that could occur as a consequence.

In this respect it reminded the distinction made by the then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, to the American Bishops when he stated: “There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

Source: Catholic News Agency Oct. 28, 2005.

The 10-point Guidelines for Catholic Political Action is posted to Catholics in the Public Square by my fellow editor David Schraeder, along with a list of participants, courtesy of Deal Hudson's newsletter.

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