Acton Institute Powerblog

Rev. Sirico on Catholicism in the 2016 presidential election

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In a new article written for the Wall Street Journal, president and co-founder of the Acton Institute, Fr. Robert Sirico, makes an important point regarding the integrity of Catholic politicians. While respecting the traditions and doctrines of the Catholic Church, one should not compromise or adjust points of faith depending on the institutional context. “Key doctrinal and moral rules apply to all Catholics in all contexts—in business, at home, or in elective office. One cannot “personally” oppose something while making a living advocating it.” The Catholic Church does not call members to pick and choose doctrines most convenient with one’s worldview—however this is has happened in today’s political landscape.

An exemplary situation where compromise has occurred can be seen by comparing the differing Catholic ‘paths’ chosen by Gov. Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Kaine. While both Pence and Kaine possess “deep Catholic and Democratic roots” their opinions on policy have not aligned with their beliefs. Because the Catholic Church supports specific policies in conjunction with crucial doctrinal issues, Sirico points out that a “Catholic’s political views must be consistent with the faith. Catholic politicians should advocate policies that help the needy and care for the planet, but the church leaves it up to policy makers to debate the best way of achieving those goals.”

Sirico admits that although he is dejected to see Pence make a decision to leave the Catholic Church, at least it displays his “honesty.” Read the whole article here.

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Caroline Roberts Caroline Roberts is a managing editor at the Acton Institute and produces Acton's weekly podcast, Acton Line.

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