The Catholic bishops of the United States are pleased to offer once again to the Catholic faithful Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship (en Español), our teaching document on the political responsibility of Catholics. This statement represents our guidance for Catholics in the exercise of their rights and duties as participants in our democracy. We urge our pastors, lay and religious faithful, and all people of good will to use this statement to help form their consciences; to teach those entrusted to their care; to contribute to civil and respectful public dialogue; and to shape political choices in the coming election in light of Catholic teaching. The statement lifts up our dual heritage as both faithful Catholics and American citizens with rights and duties as participants in the civil order.
First published in 1976, the document has been updated with a new Introductory Letter
(en Español) approved by the bishops of the United States in 2019. The document ‘Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship’ is examined in an essay printed in Catholic News Service by Amy Uleman.