On virtually every question of human life and dignity the growing culture of exclusion in our nation reinforces and propels cleavages that are highly destructive to all the goals that lie in the center of Catholic social teaching. For this reason, many faith-filled Catholics believe that in this election cycle the most compelling issue that arises from Catholic social teaching for American voters is the need to repudiate radically this culture of exclusion before it spreads further and leads to new levels of moral paralysis and division… the drive to label a single issue preeminent distorts the call to authentic discipleship in voting… today a faith-filled voter is called to approach voting from a stance of bridge building and healing for our nation. ~ Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego entitled “Conscience, Candidates and Discipleship in Voting”.

Reading the signs of the times from our desire to create communion, we, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, affirm the interrelatedness of the justice concerns addressed by the LCWR Call for 2015-2022. We are heartbroken by the myriad ways our one human family and Earth, our common home, suffer from disconnection, indifference, violence, and fear in the face of racism, migration, and climate crisis. Responding to God who loves all of creation into being, we recommit ourselves to create communion and examine root causes of injustice. We particularly focus on the intersection of racism, migration, and climate crisis. We recognize a sense of urgency and pledge prayer, education, and advocacy. We will use our collective voice, resources, and power in collaboration with others to establish justice which reflects God’s creating love.

The Social Justice Promoters of Region 7 (Michigan and Indiana) have embraced this statement and have created three study modules on the issues of racism, migration, and climate crisis to present to our memberships for their reflection as they prepare for the November elections. Each module will have a section on Experience of people affected by the issue, Values of the issue in light of Catholic Social Teachings, and a Call for Action. As we studied these issues together, we realized that the three principles of CST that surfaced most frequently were Life and Dignity of the Human Person, Option for the Poor and Vulnerable, and Solidarity.

In light of our shared reflective study, we should also highlight the principle of Rights and Responsibilities. As citizens of the United States, we share the privilege and the responsibility for voting.

As Catholics, we are called to participate fully in the political process of our nation. One of the most effective ways we can do this is by voting. Pope Francis states that “…our political lives must be seen as an essential element of our personal call to holiness.”

A NOTE TO READERS: This voting guide does not contain all the questions to be asked. Nor does it recommend any candidate for office. Assuming we will not meet candidates face to face this term, to know more about them, we need to seek out other sources of information. Most of their websites will have a section entitled issues which will identify their policy priorities. Many candidates will have virtual town hall meetings. You will need to be on their mailing list to receive their newsletter.

Click on the title to download the 2020 Voter Guide OP Final