New book challenges Catholics to play role in public square

.- This weekend Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix launched a new booklet, challenging Catholics to take a more active part in influencing the political process.

The 45-page booklet is part of a new series by Basilica Press, entitled “Shepherd’s Voice”, which deals with the issue of Catholics in the public square.

The bishop’s booklet, titled “Catholics in the Public Square,” is the first in the series. It was launched Oct. 7 at a half-day event at the Diocese of Phoenix’s Pastoral Center, attended by more than 400 people.

Bishop Olmsted said the booklet is aimed at helping Catholics fight against secularization and the misrepresentation of faith in the public arena. It demonstrates how Catholics can contribute to a culture of life, and focuses on what role Catholic doctrine should play in the public square.

The bishop also discusses the “non-negotiable” issues for Catholics involved in politics, and refers to issues which could prohibit Catholics from receiving Holy Communion.

In addition to the book launch, attendees also gathered for the diocese’s 2006 Legislative Issues Seminar. The seminar opened with a Mass, presided by the bishop, during which he said that Catholics have a duty to act when people’s dignity and rights are at stake.

Christians cannot refuse to engage in issues about immigration, the poor, marriage, abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem-cell research, capital punishment and war, he said.

“Christ expects us to be active there [in the public square]: loving our neighbor, engaging the culture, promoting the common good, and defending the dignity and rights of all. This is part and parcel of being a follower of Christ,” he said during his homily.

“But we live in a time when many contend that faith is a purely private matter. They accuse us of imposing our faith on others if we let it influence everything we do,” he continued.

“From various quarters, Catholics and other people of faith are especially pressured to separate our faith from the public square. But such pressures and contentions, if heeded, would make a mockery of faith. If our faith does not impact on every dimension of our life, then it is not true faith,” he said, echoing points made in his booklet.

“A lay person in the public square has a particular responsibility to live his or her vocation in view of its unique impact on society,” the bishop says in his Question and Answer-style book.

Those involved in politics “often are in a position to influence societal norms on matters of real significance by passing or defeating various legislative proposals,” the booklet continues.

Addressing other Catholics in the public square, especially those in the mass media, the bishop says, “a significant part of their responsibilities is to live their faith by promoting the common good in society.”

The bishop acknowledges that many people of faith have been frightened into silence, led to believe that they are imposing their morality on others.

However, he continues, “Democratic society needs the active participation of all its citizens, people of faith included. The active engagement of Catholics in democratic processes is good for society and it is responsible citizenship.”

More than 100,000 copies of the bishop’s booklet have been published. The full text of the booklet and ordering information are available at: http://www.basilicapress.com/index.html.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?

Liturgical Calendar

July 24, 2014

Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:10-17


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 2: 1-3, 7-8, 12-13
Gospel:: Mt 13: 10-17

Saint of the Day

St. Charbel Makhlouf »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:10-17


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: