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

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 25, 2014

Friday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 21:1-14


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Mark, the Evangelist »


Homily of the Day

Jn 21:1-14


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: