What is a Catholic voter to do?

The first presidential debate between Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton drew a television audience of more than 80 million viewers on Sept. 26.  After hearing the candidates’ exchanges on a variety of issues facing the country, questions remain for many people, Catholics included.

The Catholic voter’s dilemma is addressed by the bishops of the United States in the document “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship — Call to Political Responsibility.”

The bishops make it clear that their focus is not on party affiliation, ideology, economics, or even competence and capacity to perform duties.  Rather, candidates must advance the dignity of every human life. They close with 10 goals that voters should keep in mind as they cast their votes.

As Cleveland Bishop Richard Lennon has written, “voters will need to employ the virtue of prudence in a major way this year.” As the document teaches, a voter must be aware of the gradation of evils; not all sins are equally serious. Sometimes sinful actions can be excused, given certain circumstances.  Other sinful actions are by nature intrinsically evil, he added.

Catholics are asked to read the Faithful Citizenship document.  You can review the articles, including Bishop Lennon’s column, in the latest issue of Northeast Ohio Catholic magazine.