Voter Guides – Why Not?
Voter guides tend to be single issue focused and as such may lead the reader to an insufficient reflection on all the issues important to the Church. This lack of reflection and formation in the full scope of the Church’s teaching may not only keep the voter from embracing and working for the complete vision of good which the Church holds and promotes, but may even lead some, whether through ignorance or even willful intent, to support a candidate who is promoting intrinsic and/or grave evils.
Forming our consciences to faithfully vote as Catholics requires that we pay attention to the wisdom and guidance offered by the Church and her bishops. In addition to having provided Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship to assist voters in embodying a Catholic approach to political participation, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has asked for parishes and other Catholic organizations to refrain from making available other educational materials, including voter guides, that have not been approved for use by the USCCB, the Catholic Conference of Illinois, or the diocese. (see the USCCB’s Do’s and Don’tspublication). In addition to securing a comprehensive and faithful expression of the Church’s teaching, this review and approval requirement helps to keep parishes and Catholic organizations from violating the legal boundaries in place for groups with a 501 (c) (3) status. For these reasons, the Diocese of Joliet has authorized parishes and other Catholic organizations to use only the following: the USCCB’s Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship and all related tools found on usccb.org, resources published by the Catholic Conference of Illinois, and educational materials provided by our Diocese.