.- Catholics are called to practice their faith in their everyday lives, including in the political sphere, said Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix in his latest column in the diocesan newspaper, the Catholic Sun. âLay people have a particular calling to engage in the political process as a means of promoting the common good,â said the bishop, however adding that this should always be done in a manner consistent with the teachings of the Church.
Referring to last year the Vatican document, titled âDoctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding Participation of Catholics in Political Life,â the bishop said Catholics can never legitimately support any law that attacks human life.
Many Catholics misunderstand the role of conscience in these life issues and they think conscience means âbelieving in whatever one wants, without regard to objective truth,â said the bishop.
âThey fail to recognize the need to form oneâs conscience accurately through prayer and a genuine search for what is right and true, on the basis of objective standards beyond oneself,â he explained.
âWhile abortion, euthanasia, and physician-assisted suicide are always evil and never justifiable choices,â the bishop said, other âintrinsically evil attacks on human lifeâ such as cloning and embryonic stem-cell research must not be forgotten.
With regard to same-sex marriage, Bishop Olmsted said: âGovernment and public officials have an obligation to promote and protect marriage and family life according to the laws of nature and of natureâs Creator.â
âIn exercising our political freedoms and responsibilities, let us weigh all the issues, pray for discernment and prepare to vote as loyal American citizens and as faithful followers of Christ,â he concluded.
For Bishop Olmstedâs full text, go to http://www.catholicsun.org/bishopColumn.htm