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September 21st, 2010

Bishops Urge Iowa Catholics to Get Involved in the Political Process

“In the Catholic tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue; and participation in political life is a moral obligation.”

The four Catholic dioceses of Iowa will be distributing informational fliers on “Faithful Citizenship” in Catholic parishes across the state this fall.

“A basic test of policy is whether it supports or threatens human life and human dignity. From this, citizens and public officials alike must seriously consider matters related to the common good,” the flier reads. “A Catholic ethic of life does not treat all issues as morally equivalent or reduce Catholic teaching to one or two issues.”

The Catholic Church does not endorse or oppose candidates or political parties. However, it contributes to the political process by encouraging Catholics to learn about the church’s teachings on protecting the vulnerable and the poor. “Then Catholics are urged to vote and become more involved in the political process,” said Tom Chapman, executive director of the Iowa Catholic Conference.

In addition, the Iowa Catholic Conference supports a marriage amendment to Iowa’s constitution. The flier states, “The way to do this is by convening a constitutional convention. Every 10 years, including this year, Iowa voters have the opportunity to call for a constitutional convention. A ‘yes’ vote on this measure will allow Catholics and others to work for a marriage amendment to the Iowa constitution. This amendment would affirm the traditional understanding that marriage is a union of one man and one woman.”

The flier is available on the Conference’s website at www.iowacatholicconference.org. The Conference has a Facebook page and can be followed on Twitter at “iacatholicconf.”

The Iowa Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Iowa. Its Board of Directors includes the Catholic bishops of Iowa and lay people, priests, a deacon and religious sisters. The diocesan bishops of Iowa are Dubuque Archbishop Jerome Hanus, OSB; Bishop R. Walker Nickless of Sioux City; Bishop Martin Amos of Davenport, and Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines.

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