Voter Education Materials
Voter Education Materials
The Archdiocese is making available resources for voter education:
- Voter education flyer entitled "Forming a Good Catholic Conscience for Voting" (also available in Spanish), which can be used to instruct parishioners on the principles by which a good Catholic conscience is formed, and specific guidance on how to do so in connection with voting.
- Bulletin blurbs for use in educating Catholics about moral responsibility and voting.
The documents and information from the United States and New York Bishops are also good tools for educating Catholics on their civic and moral responsibilities.
- The United States Catholic Bishops have issued a document, "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship" (also in Spanish), which provides guidance on how to form one's conscience for voting, as well as principles of Catholic teaching on which we should rely. The document is also available in a shorter bulletin insert (which is also available in Spanish).
- The U.S. Bishops have also published a very useful article on forming conscience for the voting decision. It can be downloaded here, and it is also available in Spanish.
- The Bishops of New York State have issued a statement on forming conscience, "Our Cherished Right, Our Solemn Duty". It can be downloaded here.
Permissible Political Activity by Catholic Institutions
There are legal limits on the kinds of political activity that can be carried out by religious organizations. In general, religious organizations and their representatives have the right, protected by the First Amendment, to speak out about issues and matters of public policy, and to seek to influence legislation. We encourage our parishes and people to vigorously exercise their freedom of speech, to bring Catholic values to bear in the public square. However, our organizations may not engage in any way in partisan political activity.
The New York State Catholic Conference has guidelines that will help Catholic institutions in applying these rules to their activities.
Please note that "voter guides" (i.e., documents that compare candidate positions on issues) from outside groups are not to be distributed by parishes in the Archdiocese, because such guides may not fairly represent the issues of interest to the Church, and may involve the Church in forbidden partisan political activity.
Information About Elections and Candidates
To find out about the candidates in the upcoming elections, go here and fill in your address.
(Please note that the website linked above is not affiliated with the Archdiocese or any other Catholic institution. We have no control over, nor do we take responsibility for or endorse, the contents of the website or the organization that sponsors or hosts it. This link is provided for information only, and should not be considered in any way an explicit or implicit endorsement of any candidate, or a comparison of any candidate's positions to the teachings of the Church.)