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POLITICS & THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Political Guidelines for Parishes
from the Catholic bishops of Indiana

 
Committed to principled nonpartisan engagement in the political process, the Catholic Church does not and will not engage in partisan politics.

The Church does not support or oppose any candidate or party but seeks to focus attention on the moral and human dimensions of issues.

We strongly urge all parishioners to become informed on key issues and to vote. In a democracy, loving our neighbor and caring for the least among us means supporting leaders and policies that promote the common good and protect society’s most vulnerable members.

Helping Catholics recognize and act on this
dimension of our faith is an essential task for parish leaders.

Keeping in mind our Catholic social teachings and responsibility to shape morality in the political arena, please avoid the distribution or placement at any parish or diocesan entity of materials that mention specific candidates or political parties in any manner. The Policy of the Indiana Dioceses is that no material should be distributed at the parish or parish schools unless it is published by the USCCB, ICC or the respective diocese in compliance with the following guidelines.

The following is specifically prohibited:

  • voter guides that mention a candidate’s or political party’s position on an issue;

  • voting records that state an incumbent’s record on an issue;

  • candidate surveys


The policy does not apply to materials that discuss voting in general, the issues, Catholic voting responsibility, or Church teaching on public policy issues so long as the materials do not mention a candidate or political party.

What is Allowed at a Parish Facility?

  • Addressing the moral and human dimensions of public issues

  • Urging parishioners to ask the candidates about the issues

  • Sharing the Church's teaching on human life, human rights, justice, peace, and political responsibility

  • Applying Catholic teaching to legislation and public issues

  • Being politically involved, but non-partisan such as participating in a voter registration or campaign to encourage voter participation without highlighting a candidate or party.


What is Not Allowed at a Parish Facility?

  • Supporting or opposing candidates for political office

  • Supporting or opposing political parties

  • Distributing "voter guides" that mention a candidate or political party

  • Providing a candidate with a list of parishioners

  • Inviting only selected candidates to address your church-sponsored group

  • Making church facilities available for partisan political purposes

  • Posting, sharing, liking, retweeting, etc. on social media posts that express an opinion or position of a candidate for office or of a political party*


* The above applies to parish, parish school or diocesan owned electronic equipment (tablets, computers, smart phones) or media accounts. This rule also prohibits political advertising in diocesan publications, on diocesan websites, in parish bulletins and on parish websites.


September 10, 2020
The Roman Catholic Bishops of Indiana