I have gathered the best of the best solid Catholic resources available on voting, based on the many questions I have received from my radio listeners. I pray these valuable resources will help you to discern God’s will in your voting decisions this year. I strongly recommend you fast and pray as part of your discernment process in voting. I also recommend you pray the Rosary daily and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you….Come Holy Spirit!
Know the “Common Good” Criteria
Since the purpose of voting is to foster the common good, the worthiness or unworthiness of a candidate for office is best judged by their relationship to their basic principles of a just social order and their willingness to advance them. (e.g. to protect all human life) It is not based on personality or likeability.
Non-Negotiable vs. Negotiable Issues to Consider
In an address by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 to European parliamentarians, in which he named the goods which are non-negotiables, and thus at the heart of the common good. As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable. Among these the following emerge clearly today:
(a) protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death;
(b) recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family as a union between a man and a woman based on marriage, and its defense from attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different forms of union which in reality harm it and contribute to its destabilization, obscuring its particular character and its irreplaceable social role;
(c) the protection of the right of parents to educate their children. (Address to European Parliamentary Group, 30 March 2006)
Research the Candidates
It is important for you to research all candidate’s positions on key Catholic issues. This includes those running for office in your local government. While national elections are important, many times it is the local elected officials that run for higher office so take the time to do your research.
Church Teachings On Voting
- Living the Gospel of Life – USCCB
- Sin To Vote For Pro-Abortion Politicians? Fr. Matthew Habiger, HLI
- How To Vote According To Our Catholic Faith, Bishop Donald J. Hying
- Your Moral Obligation to Vote? How to properly form your conscience to be a faithful citizen, Fr. Chris Alar, M.I.C.
- Church Teaching On Voting, What Catholics need to know about Church teaching and voting, Fr. Chris Alar, M.I.C.
- There Is No Equivalence – Archbishop Charles Chaput
- Why Abortion Is Different From Other Issues, Michael Warsaw
- When the Dogma Lives Loudly, Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M.Cap.
- The Toxic Waste of Roe v. Wade, George Weigel
Catechism of the Catholic Church
- “You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself” (CCC 2258-2287)
- EWTN – A Brief Catechism For Voters
Review the Ten Commandments
- Ten Commandments explained
Non-Partisan Voting Resources
- Get Sample Ballots, Voting Information/Locations
- Deadlines for various voting dates and stages of the process, vary from state to state. Here’s your election website specifically for your state
- Check your Voting Registration Status
- Register to Vote in your State
- Find Out About Valid Forms of Identification Where You Vote
- Be Educated About Absentee & Early Voting
- How to Become a Poll Worker in Your State
Prayer & Novenas
Trusted Media Resources
- EWTN News
- National Catholic Register
- EWTN News Nightly
- The World Over with Raymond Arroyo
- OSV News
- Catholic World Report
- Catholic News Agency
- First Things
- Crisis Magazine
- New Advent
Trusted Radio Shows For News & Views From A Catholic Perspective
- Catholic Connection hosted by Teresa Tomeo – Weekdays at 8am-10amET on Ave Maria Radio/EWTN Radio. Check out my segment “Fact Check Friday”
- Open Line – Weekdays at 3pm & 10pmET (Call-in Q&A Format) on EWTN Radio
- Kresta in the Afternoon hosted by Al Kresta – Weekdays at 4pm-6pmET on Ave Maria Radio/EWTN Radio
Trusted Radio Networks (Available Online or By App)
Videos & Webcasts
- Forming a Catholic Conscience: the Immorality of Abortion, Father Spitzer’s Universe – 10-07-2020, Doug Keck & Fr. Robert Spitzer
- EWTN’s Theology Roundtable on Voting with Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J., Colin Donovan, and Fr. Robert Spitzer, hosted by Doug Keck
- The American Election and its Global Consequences – Ralph Martin
- Mother Angelica Live- 9/6/94 – Develop An Informed Conscience, Mother explains why if we are to live according to the teachings of the Gospel, we must have a well-informed conscience.
- How Would Mother Angelica Vote? – 10/3/2000
- Not Every Evil Act is Equal, Election 2020 Op-Ed Video – Bishop Daniel E. Thomas, Diocese of Toledo, OH
- Evangelium Vitae (On the Value & Inviolability of Human Life), Pope St. John Paul II
- Deus Caritas Est (On Christian Love), Pope Benedict XVI
- The Participate of Catholics In Political Life, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
- Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), Pope Francis
Books of Interest
- Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life — Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M.Cap.
- Columbus and the Crisis of the West – Robert Royal
- Our Peculiar Times: Catholic Wisdom For Times of Crisis – Fr. George Rutler
- The Politics of Envy – Anne Hendershott
- Rethinking the Enlightenment: Faith in the Age of Reason – Joseph T. Stewart
- Noise: How Our Media Saturated Culture Dominates Lives & Dismantles Families — Teresa Tomeo
- Extreme Makeover: Women Transformed By Christ, Not Conformed To The Culture — Teresa Tomeo
Quotes to Ponder:
- “We’re Catholics before we’re Democrats. We’re Catholics before we’re Republicans. We’re even Catholics before we’re Americans, because we know that God has a demand on us prior to any government demand on us. And this has been the story of the martyrs through the centuries.” — Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M.Cap.
- “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ― Edmund Burke
- “Evil preaches tolerance until it is dominant and then it seeks to silence good.” — Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M.Cap.
- “The Church wishes to help form consciences in political life and to stimulate greater insight into the authentic requirements of justice as well as greater readiness to act accordingly, even when this might involve conflict with situations of personal interest… The Church cannot and must not take upon herself the political battle to bring about the most just society possible. She cannot and must not replace the State. Yet at the same time she cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice.” — Deus Caritas Est (no. 28), Pope Benedict XVI
- “It is the duty of citizens to contribute along with the civil authorities to the good of society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity, and freedom. The love and service of one’s country follows from the duty of gratitude and belongs to the order of charity. Submission to legitimate authorities and service of the common good require citizens to fulfill their roles in the life of the political community. Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one’s country (Rom. 13:7) ….. . . The Apostle exhorts us to offer prayers and thanksgiving for kings and all who exercise authority, “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way.” (1 Tim 2:2) The duty to vote is one of co-responsibility for society. Its moral object is the common good. As Catholics our consciences should be specifically informed as to the greatest moral principles, so that we may vote with them in mind.” (CCC 2239-2240)
- “An authentic faith . . . always involves a deep desire to change the world, to transmit values, to leave this earth somehow better than we found it. We love this magnificent planet on which God has put us, and we love the human family which dwells here, with all its tragedies and struggles, it hopes and aspirations, its strengths and weaknesses. The earth is our common home and all of us are brothers and sisters. If indeed “the just ordering of society and of the state is a central responsibility of politics,” the Church, “cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice.“” — No. 183, Evangelii Gaudium
- “I want to stress again the importance of really living what we claim to believe. That needs to be a priority – not just in our personal and family lives, but in our churches, our political choices, our business dealings, our treatment of the poor; in other words, in everything we do.” — Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M.Cap.
- “It must be noted also that a well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals. The Christian faith is an integral unity, and thus it is incoherent to isolate some particular element to the detriment of the whole of Catholic doctrine. A political commitment to a single isolated aspect of the Church’s social doctrine does not exhaust one’s responsibility toward the common good.” — Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life, no. 4, The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
- “Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. In the formation of conscience the Word of God is the light for our path, we must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice. We must also examine our conscience before the Lord’s Cross. We are assisted by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, aided by the witness or advice of others and guided by the authoritative teaching of the Church.” (CCC 1783-1785)
- “It is necessary that all participate, each according to his position and role, in promoting the common good. This obligation is inherent in the dignity of the human person. . . . As far as possible citizens should take an active part in public life.” (CCC 1913-1915)
- “Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act that he is going to perform, is in the process of performing, or has already completed. In all he says and does, man is obliged to follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right.” (CCC 1778)
- “…to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it.” (CCC 1806)
- “We encourage all citizens, particularly Catholics, to embrace their citizenship not merely as a duty and privilege, but as an opportunity meaningfully to participate in building the culture of life. . . . Every act of responsible citizenship is an exercise of significant individual power. We must exercise that power in ways that defend human life, especially those of God’s children who are unborn, disabled or otherwise vulnerable. We get the public officials we deserve. Their virtue–or lack thereof–is a judgment not only on them, but on us. Because of this we urge our fellow citizens to see beyond party politics, to analyze campaign rhetoric critically and to choose their political leaders according to principle, not party affiliation or mere self-interest.” — Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics 34, USCCB, November 1998
- “Jesus isn’t running for public office this year. Neither is His mother. That means we can stop looking for the perfect candidate. From the perspective of the Catholic faith, the perfect candidate isn’t out there. It also means I’m not going to tell you how to vote — not because IRS tax codes prohibit it but because faith doesn’t require it. I only intend to write about what faith requires — to look at issues that weigh on every Catholic conscience, issues by which we can measure every candidate. In addressing those issues, I don’t intend to substitute for anyone’s conscience. Rather, I intend to help in the formation of everyone’s conscience. Abortion remains the number one issue that weighs on the Catholic conscience in every election. Why? Because abortion is the destruction of innocent life on a massive scale. In the U.S. alone, it involves the deaths of almost 1 million children every year, resulting in the deaths of more than 50 million children since 1973. When the powerful can eliminate the vulnerable, and society is told to look the other way, something is drastically wrong. And that pattern sets a template that will express itself in other ways. Abortion is a direct contradiction to the faith. If we don’t object to it, we have little grounds to object to anything else, and little grounds to claim that our concern with other issues is motivated by our Catholic faith. Candidates who support abortion are telling us that they will make decisions by criteria that are in fundamental contradiction to the faith. In the face of that, it strains credulity to believe any promises they make about caring for the poor and vulnerable in a way that is acceptable to the faith.” – Before the Cross: Viewing election issues through a lens of faith, by Archbishop Robert J. Carlson
For Specifically Pro-Life Resources Click Here
Recursos de Votación Católica en Español