"Responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation."
By our baptism, we are committed to following Jesus Christ and to be "salt for the earth, light for the nations." As the Catechism reminds us, "It is necessary that all participate, according to his position and role, in promoting the common good. This is inherent in the dignity of the human person ... As far as possible citizens should take an active part in public life"
The above statement lifts up our dual heritage as both faithful Catholics and American citizens. We are members of a community of faith with a long tradition of teaching and action on human life, and dignity, marriage and family, justice and peace, care for creation, and the common good.
As Americans, we are also blessed with religious liberty which safeguards our right to bring our principles and moral convictions into the public arena. These Constitutional freedoms need to be both exercised and protected, as some seek to mute the voices or limit the freedoms of religious believers and religious institutions.
Catholics have the same rights and duties as others to participate fully in public life. The Church through its institutions must be free to carry out its mission and contribute to the common good without being pressured to sacrifice fundamental teachings and moral principles.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
The conscientious scruples of all men should be treated with great delicacy and tenderness, and it is my wish and desire, that the laws may always be extensively accommodated to them" -George Washington
"the religion...of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate." -James Madison