Bishop Share Resources on Faithful Citizenship

This article was posted on: July 21, 2016

The Wisconsin Catholic Conference (WCC), the public policy voice of Wisconsin’s bishops, is distributing two series of resources to help Catholics reflect on their duties as faithful citizens.

The first and longer five-part series includes the following:

  1. Letter from the Bishops/Overview of Catholic Social Teaching
  2. Forming Consciences
  3. Life & Dignity of the Human Person/Poverty & Economic Justice
  4. Religious Liberty/Immigration & Solidarity
  5. Marriage & Family/Care for Creation

The shorter three-part series includes:

  1. Letter from the Bishops/Overview of Catholic Social Teaching
  2. Forming Consciences from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
  3. Select Quotes from the WCC’s five-part series.

Additional resources outside of both series include:

  1. Candidate Questions & Wisconsin Voter Information
  2. WCC Guidelines for Church Involvement in Electoral Politics

While the series and resources are designed for parish bulletins, they can also be reproduced on a parish website or on posters.

As in years past, the WCC materials are based on the U.S. bishops’ statement, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States (www.faithfulcitizenship.org).  The 2015 edition of the statement includes a new introductory note, recent papal teachings, and a new presentation of Catholic social teaching.

Kim Wadas, Executive Director of the WCC, explained that “Traditionally, Catholic social teaching in America has been structured into seven themes: 1) right to life and dignity of the human person; 2) call to family, community, and participation; 3) rights and responsibilities; 4) option for the poor and vulnerable; 5) dignity of work and rights of workers; 6) solidarity; and 7) care for God’s creation.  For the 2015 revision of Forming Consciences, the U.S. bishops reduced the themes, now called principles, to four: dignity of the human person, common good, subsidiarity, and solidarity.  This follows the format found in recent papal documents and the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, published in 2004 by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.  Our WCC resources, therefore, reflect this new ordering.”

At the close of their opening letter, the bishops of Wisconsin write: “In everything we do, let us all be Catholics first because as such we have a special duty and a unique ability to strengthen our families, our local communities, and our nation.  No matter who is elected to public office, let us follow what Pope Francis urged our members of Congress to do, ‘Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves.  Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves.  In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities.’”

The WCC’s resources are provided to parishes through the diocesan offices responsible for respect life and social concerns.  They are also available on the WCC website at www.wisconsincatholic.org.

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For more information, contact Kim Wadas at 608-257-0004.

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