We are in the midst of a contentious Presidential season while also facing significant ethical questions on the November ballot in California, e.g., marijuana legalization, gun control, healthcare and drug prices, repealing or altering the death penalty. The major candidates for the Presidency have deeply divided opinions on numerous issues and neither come close to fully supporting important principles in Catholic social teaching. This quagmire has led many Catholics to the decision to remain passive and not vote at all.
This is not a wise judgment especially in light of Catholic teaching. The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults teaches that “Catholics have the duty to vote, to participate in the political arena, and to help shape society in light of Catholic teaching.” This directive is based on the belief that the Church is missionary and “through participation in political life – either as voters or as holders of public office – they [Catholics] work for increasing conformity of public policy to the law of God as known by human reason and Divine Revelation.”