Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Political guildelines for Catholics

The New York State Catholic Conference has posted guidelines for permissible activities by Catholic organizations. Titled Pastors, Parishes and Political Responsibility, it is available here. Some examples:

Permissible Church Activities
- Endorsing/opposing legislation, including ballot referenda
- Homilies/bulletin inserts on moral issues, and on the moral responsibilities of voters
- Providing educational materials on public policy issues, but not candidates, to parishioners
- Arranging for groups to meet with their elected officials to advocate for or against legislation
- Encouraging letter-writing, phone calls and other contacts with candidates and elected officials about issues
- Inviting all candidates for public office to a Church-sponsored public forum, debate, or candidates’ night
- Conducting a nonpartisan voter registration drive on Church property
- Distributing unbiased candidate questionnaires or voting records on a wide variety of issues
Prohibited Church Activities
- Endorsing/opposing candidates for political office
- Homilies/bulletin inserts regarding specific candidates
- Distributing or permitting distribution of partisan campaign literature under Church auspices or on Church property
- Arranging for groups to work for a candidate for public office
- Funding or financial support of any candidate, political action committee, or political party
- Inviting only selected candidates to address your Church-sponsored group, or permitting/hosting political meetings on Church property
- Conducting voter registration that is slanted toward one party
- Rating candidates numerically, or "favorably" or "unfavorably"

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