“Any politics of human dignity must seriously address issues of racism, poverty, hunger, employment, education, housing, and health care.
Therefore, Catholics should eagerly involve themselves as advocates for the weak and marginalized in all these areas … But being ‘right’ in such matters can never excuse a wrong choice regarding direct attacks on innocent human life. Indeed, the failure to protect and defend life in its most vulnerable stages ren- ders suspect any claims to the ‘rightness’ of positions in other matters affecting the poorest and least powerful of the human community. If we understand the human person as the ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’ — the living house of God — then these latter issues fall logically into place as the crossbeams and walls of that house. All direct attacks on innocent human life, such as abortion and euthanasia, strike at the house’s foundation.
These directly and immediately violate the human person’s most fundamental right — the right to life.”
— From Living the Gospel of Life, No. 22 with original emphasis (Pastoral Statement of the U.S. Catholic Bishops, 1998).
2 0 1 6 E L E C T I O N G U I D E
Know the positions of the presidential candidates
Our Sunday Visitor has partnered with the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (PCC), the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops (FCCB) and the Virginia Catholic Conference (VCC) in creating and distributing this 2016 election guide. In keeping with their missions, the FCCB, PCC and VCC aim to educate and inform Catholics about a wide range of issues. The information listed here has been compiled from policies, public statements, official and campaign websites and other resources to help voters form their consciences before entering the voting booth. The issues that appear here do not represent a complete list of issues that may be of importance to Catholics. Our Sunday Visitor, the PCC, FCCB and VCC neither support nor oppose any candidate for public office.
“The right to life implies and is linked to other human rights — to the basic goods that every human person needs to live and thrive. All the life issues are connected, for erosion of respect for the life of any individual or group in society necessarily diminishes respect for all life. The moral imperative to respond to the needs of our neighbors — basic needs such as food, shelter, health care, education, and meaningful work — is universally binding on our consciences and may be legitimately fulfilled by a variety of means. Catholics must seek the best ways to respond to these needs….Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights — for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture — is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination.’’ — From Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, Nos. 25, 26, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2015.
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