A good Catholic meddles in politics -- Pope Francishe best of hiself, so that those who

Catholics Speak Out for Democracy and Our Freedoms

Add your name to this important statement from Faith in Public Life, the Sisters of Mercy, the National Black Sisters’ Conference, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the Franciscan Action Network, and Catholic scholars and leaders across the country.

Catholics Speak Out for Democracy and Our Freedoms

As Catholic social justice leaders, sisters, clergy, theologians and Catholic university presidents, we are compelled to speak out at a time when democracy and the future of our nation’s freedoms are threatened by powerful interests.

White Christian nationalism —  an ideology heretical to authentic faith — represents a clear and present danger to building a multi-faith, multiracial democracy. Testimony and evidence from Congressional hearings on the violent insurrection against our country last January 6th have only strengthened our urgency to confront attacks against the principle that voters choose our leaders in free and peaceful elections.

We are increasingly alarmed by the signs of the times. Threats of political violence and dehumanizing rhetoric toward elected officials have increased in recent years.The Supreme Court, which in 2013 dismantled key provisions of the landmark Voting Rights Act, will in its upcoming term hear a case that experts warn could empower gerrymandered partisan legislatures to override the will of the voters in the 2024 elections. Lawmakers in states across the country have passed dozens of laws, many based on completely false political premises, specifically designed to make voting more difficult. These laws disproportionately impact Black and Brown citizens — a shameful echo of our country’s ugly history of racial discrimination.

Catholics must not be silent in the face of growing threats to voters, fair elections and democratic principles.

Our faith tradition teaches that every person deserves equal access to participate fully in our democracy. Pope Francis has said that “democracy requires participation and involvement on the part of all.” The Second Vatican Council declared in Gaudium et Spes: “It is in full accord with human nature that juridical political structures should, with ever better success and without any discrimination, afford all their citizens the chance to participate freely and actively in establishing the constitutional bases of a political community, governing the state, determining the scope and purpose of various institutions, and choosing leaders.”

Powerful institutions and political leaders are working to rig the system and erect racially discriminatory obstacles to voting and full participation in American life. Voter suppression is a sin and silence is complicity. The struggle to ensure our government represents and serves all regardless of color, class or creed is a defining moral challenge of our time. We urge our elected officials in Congress and in state legislatures, especially our fellow Catholics, to support legislation that protects and strengthens the freedom to vote without barriers or interference.

Democracies are fragile. In recent years, this timeless truth has been shown in stark ways as demagogues and nationalists in the United States and around the world have attacked the very existence of pluralistic societies. It’s now time for a renewed commitment to the common good that makes full, equal participation in political life a moral priority.

32 thoughts on “Catholics Speak Out for Democracy and Our Freedoms

    1. Rebecca Oldenburg

      I hate to say this but I have to. I’ve heard some of these Evangelicals make rude remarks about the Catholic faith & have gone so far as to accuse us of not being Christians. That being said, I truly believe that they are trying to cause a schism within our church & in some ways, I believe they have. I pray for the ones who have fallen for their ideas of white Nationalism, that they may see the truth & reverse their support for Trump & his bigoted followers.

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  1. Christine Aveni

    Happy to join other Catholics standing up and speaking out. Thank you, NETWORK, for the incredible work you do and showing leadership and faith in action.

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  2. Judith Heffernan

    Thank you for your courage.
    My heart is very sad that US Catholic Bishops have not spoken out for truth and for the terrible mistreatment of refugees.
    “What would Jesus do?” indeed!

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  3. Joseph Cavato

    This is an excellent and lucid position statement in support of traditional and vital American democratic principles. Please consider it seriously and act to preserve those principles and the common good of our country.

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  4. Mary Catanzaro

    The church is out of touch with the values of Jesus The church concerns itself with aligning itself with the wealthy right wingers who want to control our government.

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  5. Kathleen & Don Kammer

    We must due everything we can to save our democracy. It is crucial that everyone can vote and make that decision

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  6. Ernie Rosado

    U.S. Foreign Policy in which almost no U.S. citizens participate by voice in the global ”public square” is a taproot of violence for rising U.S. White Christian nationalism. That fact of overwhelming non-participation be citizenry must change in order to right innumerable wrongs being perpetrated in the U.S. and elsewhere in the name of Christ.

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  7. Nancy Thielmsnn

    As a citizen of this country that says that it values justice and liberty for all, making it more difficult for minorities and many immigrants to vote in future elections is a dangerous move away from the principles and values that have been a beacon of light for all. “For the people, by the people, of the people” not “ for a chosen few”.

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  8. Carole

    Those who would put up obstacles to voting, those seeking to overturn the will of the people expressed at the ballot box, those who would intimidate volunteers and all who work to secure a fair election: DIGEST THIS word to the wise, DON”T DO IT. We love our country – despite its flaws, its challenges and imperfections – we will fight to protect it — I will stand with others, my sisters and brothers, raising my voice, being counted – don’t dare think about trampling on MY rights as I responsibly VOTE, every election, for the common good.

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  9. Sharyn Tehrani

    It would be most gratifying to see support from the USCCB who over the last decade have seemingly lost their spiritual authority when declaring their allegiance to Jesus and his teachings. Let us pray that they would follow Him and the leadership of Pope Francis. “They will know we are Christians by our love”.

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  10. R. Jay Allain

    Without a working democracy, however imperfect, any real quest for social justice, solidarity and peace is extremely unlikely. We must learn from the rise of fascism in Europe and reject hatred and scapegoating before it further metastasizes.

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  11. Valarie Johnson

    This is such a difficult time in our society where we cause such pain in the name of being right…not thinking of our brothers a nd sisters and their trama. Let us pray to our God, Father Son and Holy Spirit, that we can follow them more closely…see more clearly …and love more dearly. Amen

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  12. Barbara P. Cotter

    We have no choice but to Speak Out against every VOICE not inclusive with the Gospel of Jesus Love your Neighbor as Yourself, and take care with God’s Creation!

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  13. Pingback: Senate Republicans Blocked the DISCLOSE Act, Leaving Elections Vulnerable to Influence by dark money - NETWORK Lobby

  14. Elena Muñoz

    I am so glad to hear other Catholics who think like I do. We can’t let these Christian Nationalists steel the true Christ, the Jesus Christ of the Gospel who is love, mercy, justice, peace…

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  15. Betty C Dudney

    “No more Discrimination in the Church for race or sex as not God’s Will.” Vatican II, Pastoral Constitution, Art/29.

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  16. Mary Lou

    Wealth – Money, which becomes WORTHLESS in the face of death is the root of evil as evidenced in the attempts to BUY our democracy. In doing so there is a toxicity that prevails – be it in the U.S., Catholic and Christian Churches or globally! To remain silent is to disparage those who have been “silenced” and excluded thereby becoming the “DIVIDED” not United States of America/Church/world! WE MUST NOT REMAIN SILENT! This nation, the Churches and this planet we call home belongs to ALL OF US – there is no room for elitism, superiority, prestige etc. We belong to the human family and are responsible for one another.

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  17. Rose Moreno

    Thank you for the opportunity to participate. If we belief in the values that Jesus taught us and we call ourselves followers of Christ, we must stand together.

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  18. Marta f. Nieves

    I am so pleased to see that Network has done this and spoken out about so-called Christians who are resorting to violence. I recall thinking “What would Jesus do? and it is not what
    churches and some congregations are preaching. Against climate change, wanting all to be one certain way …frightening….not democracy for sure.

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  19. Sr. Mary Louise Stubbs

    We need to work in a collaborative and organized way to IMPROVE our democracy and move it toward its potentials and ideals rather than just oppose the movement to destroy it

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  20. Cindy Brauer

    We can no longer sit by in consternation. Now is the time for sharing these concerns and alarm to all — family, friends, neighbors, political leaders, religious leaders — loudly and persistently.

    Reply

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