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“Human life is sacred. The dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. Direct attacks on innocent persons are never morally acceptable, at any stage or in any condition.”
– Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States, 2007, n. 44.
The unborn, the infirm and frail, elderly and embryonic, are deserving of civil legislation that upholds their dignity as human persons made in the image and likeness of God. In the public policy arena, the Conference supports
“The human person is not only sacred but also social. Full human development takes place in relationship with others. The family-based on marriage between a man and a woman—is the first and fundamental unit of society and is a sanctuary for the creation and nurturing of children.”
— Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States, 2007, n. 46.
The permanent and loving relationship between one man and one woman through the bond of marriage stands as mankind’s most significant and vital institution. Thus, policies that strengthen and promote traditional marriage and the family must be encouraged. The Conference supports
“Human dignity is respected and the common good is fostered only if human rights are protected and basic responsibilities are met. Every human being has a right to life, the fundamental right that makes all other rights possible, and a right to access to those things required for human decency—food and shelter, education and employment, health care and housing, freedom of religion and family life.”
– Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States, 2007, n. 49.
What follows is a sample of the kinds of issues that must be analyzed through the lens of Catholic social teaching regarding rights and responsibilities. Study the Faithful Citizenship document cited, as well as the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Here are just a few items the Conference supports:
Pope Benedict XVI has taught that “love for widows and orphans, prisoners, and the sick and needy of every kind, is as essential to [the Church] as the ministry of the sacraments and preaching of the Gospel” (Deus Caritas Est, no. 22). This preferential option for the poor and vulnerable includes all who are marginalized in our nation and beyond—unborn children, persons with disabilities, the elderly and terminally ill, and victims of injustice and oppression.
– Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States, 2007, n. 51.
The widening gap between the well-off and the poor is a wound on the soul of contemporary society. Thus, the state budget and other policies that affect poor and disadvantaged persons must be crafted in a manner that ensures their health and safety and promotes the common good. The Conference supports: