Notes from the Director

May 15, 2024

As election season intensifies, Catholic voters are blessed to have strong, Scripture-based teachings to guide our votes and engagement in political decisions.

From this teaching, we understand that efforts to vilify groups of people, whether it is immigrants, people experiencing homelessness or political opponents, undermine the dignity of life. At its worst, dehumanizing language makes the destruction of life more acceptable. At its “best,” such language leads us to seek easy answers for complex problems that ultimately may exacerbate, rather than solve, the issues; answers such as bans on homeless camps without shelter alternatives, border walls without a viable path to legal immigration, assisted suicide without widespread options for mental health treatment and palliative care.

With our social doctrine to guide us, we Catholics have a sound basis for demanding more from our political discourse, candidates, and elected officials. We can counter attempts to deny the humanity of migrants or people in poverty or political adversaries with reminders that every human being possesses innate dignity and value because each of us is made in the image and likeness of God. We can demand that our political leaders do more than build walls or criminalize homelessness because we understand that those solutions may keep people in need out of our immediate sight, and thus out of mind, but do nothing to solve the root causes that force people to flee their home countries or into homelessness. We can ask for greater recognition that unborn children are far too often aborted because a woman feels she does not have the financial means to care for the child, not because he or she is unwanted.

Sharing our Catholic doctrine on issues of the day, through our votes, our political discussions and our actions, is one way we live our faith; it allows us to “share the Gospel with our lives.” Countering messages that deny human dignity and insisting that elected leaders do the hard work of addressing the complex causes of human suffering is critically important during this election season. Fortunately, there are few people with as solid a basis for doing so than those of us who have our Catholic teaching to look to for guidance.

For more information about political participation as a Catholic, please spend some time with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Forming Conscience for Faithful Citizenship, which provides a framework for each Catholic voter to discern their positions on issues and votes. You can access the guide at

You can also learn more through this short video from the WSCC.