Kansas bishops’ video offers election guidance

A woman holds a baby in 2016 at a maternity home in Riverside, N.J., one of six pro-life maternity homes in the Good Counsel network. Good Counsel also has four in New York state and one in Alabama and works with other homes all over the country. The Riverside facility houses about a dozen expectant mothers, provides a safe environment for the women to continue their pregnancy, and offers continuing education, job training and material support. (CNS photo/Jeffrey Bruno)

by The Leaven staff

TOPEKA — Catholics are not of the world — but they are in it and have a responsibility to seek the common good through the political process, said the Catholic bishops of Kansas in a new video.

“Reflections on the 2018 Elections by the Catholic Bishops of Kansas” offers guidance to Catholics for the upcoming midterm elections.

It was produced by the Kansas Catholic Conference and will be posted on diocesan and parish websites.

“Apathy is not an option,” said Chuck Weber, executive director of the Kansas Catholic Conference.

The four-minute video features Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas; Bishop John B. Brungardt of the Diocese of Dodge City; Bishop Carl A. Kemme of the Diocese of Wichita; and Bishop Gerald L. Vincke of the Diocese of Salina.

“We need to be knowledgeable voters and bring the principles of our Catholic teaching into the voting booth,” said Archbishop Naumann. “Those principles establish the priorities by which we select candidates.”

Like all other citizens, Catholics have a right and a responsibility to participate in the political process, said Weber. This includes voting — votes that will shape policy and even the culture of our state and nation.

The church does not tell Catholics which candidates to vote for, he said. Rather, Catholics are expected to have properly formed consciences, know about the church’s teachings and pastoral guidance, and use their prudential judgment to make informed votes that reflect true Catholic values.

It is for these reasons that the Catholic bishops of Kansas, assisted by the conference, have produced this timely guide. One place the video can be viewed is on the archdiocesan website at: www.archkck.org

This video unpacks Catholic public policy priorities in defense of human life, religious liberty and the incalculable importance of marriage and the family. It also touches upon critical issues like immigration and the basic needs of the poor.

“Each person should investigate the candidates and make decisions based on what they believe, what values they promote and what types of legislation they would likely support or oppose,” said Weber.

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