See also past columns and past letters by Bishop Donald J. Hying.

Official guidelines for forming a Catholic conscience in the Diocese of Madison Print
Thursday, Nov. 01, 2012 -- 12:00 AM

From Bishop Morlino:

It is the role of bishops and priests to teach principles of our faith, such that those who seek elected offices and those who are seeking to vote, if they are Catholics, are to form their consciences according to these principles about particular policy issues. The non-negotiable issues for the formation of a Catholic conscience in this election are as follows:

Sacredness of human life from conception to natural death -- Human life is sacred and we must do all that we can to preserve human life, especially when it is most vulnerable and defenseless: that means not only avoiding, but working actively against the promotion of abortion and euthanasia, two of the greatest threats to human life in our day. In addition, we must work against any promotion of “advances” that are actually destructive to human life, such as embryonic stem cell research and human cloning. No Catholic may, in good conscience, vote for “pro-choice” candidates, or they must choose the candidate who would place greater restrictions on abortion.

Religious freedom and freedom of conscience -- Besides our right to life, the most basic right granted to humans is our ability to seek to achieve eternal life, to worship God, and to follow our consciences in all aspects of life. No Catholic may, in good conscience, vote for laws or candidates who would promote laws that would infringe upon our religious liberties and freedom of conscience.

Marriage -- Written in our very human nature, in the language of our bodies, by the Creator, is the truth that marriage means one husband, one wife, one lifetime, with openness to children. No Catholic may, in good conscience, vote for candidates who promote “same-sex marriage.”