ChaputFrom “Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life” by Denver Archbishop Charles J. Chaput,
pp. 9-10, published 2008 by Doubleday:


The “God question” is part of our public life, and we simply can’t avoid it. Does God exist or not? Each citizen answers that in his or her own way. But the issue is not theoretical. It goes to first premises. It has very practical implications, just as it did at our country’s founding. If we really believe God exists, that belief will inevitably color our personal and public behavior: our actions, our choices, and our decisions. It will also subtly frame our civic language and institutions. If we really believe God exists, excluding God form our public life – whether we do it explicitly through Supreme Court action or implicitly by our silence as citizens – cannot serve the common good because it amounts to enshrining the unreal in the place of the real.
People who take God seriously will not remain silent about their faith. They will often disagree about doctrine or policy, but they won’t be quiet. They can’t be. They’ll act on what they believe, sometimes at the cost of their reputation and careers. Obviously the common good demands a respect for other people with different beliefs and a willingness to compromise whenever possible. But for Catholics, the common good can never mean muting themselves in public debate on foundational issues of faith or human dignity. This is why any notion of tolerance that tries to reduce faith to a private idiosyncrasy, or a set of opinions that we can indulge at home but need to be quiet about in public, will always fail. As a friend once said, it’s like asking a married man to act single in public. He can certainly do that – but he won’t stay married for long.   :: click to order






OlmsteadFrom “Catholics in the Public Square” (p. 28) by Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix.


Are all political and social issues equal when it comes to choosing a political candidate?

Absolutely not! The Catholic Church is actively engaged in a wide variety of important public policy issues including immigration, education, affordable housing, health and welfare, to name just a few. On each of these issues we should do our best to be informed and to support those proposed solutions that seem most likely to be effective. However, when it comes to direct attacks on innocent human life, being right on all the other issues can never justify a wrong choice on this most serious matter.

As Pope John Paul II has written, “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 the maximum determination.” ) Christifideles Laici, 38)   :: click to order