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In keeping with its decades-long tradition, the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (PCC) has published election resources to inform Catholics about a wide range of issues before the November 6 elections.
“The Catholic Church regards voting and civic engagement as a moral responsibility,” said Dr. Robert J. O’Hara, Jr., executive director of the PCC. “As a service to help Catholics inform their consciences before entering the voting booth, the PCC staff researched, surveyed and interviewed candidates about their positions on key Catholic issues. The Church neither endorses nor opposes candidates for public office. The materials we developed as an agency of the Church are for informational purposes only.”
The PCC materials have information about the views of the candidates for state attorney general, auditor general and treasurer, the two U.S. Senate candidates, and the presidential candidates.
The statewide candidates answered a questionnaire and the U.S. Senate candidates also sat for interviews with the PCC staff. The Know the Positions of the Presidential Candidates document was compiled from policies, public statements, official websites and other resources to set forth the candidates’ positions in their own words. The issues are arranged in alphabetical order for informational purposes and do not represent a complete list of issues that may be of importance to Catholics. All materials are available at www.pacatholic.org/catholic-voter-resources.
“The Church does not say ‘vote for this person or against that one.’ Each voter must inform his or her own conscience and cast a vote accordingly. Each of us is responsible for our own free will choices inside and outside the voting booth. Further, tax-exempt entities like the Church have legal restrictions on their election-related communications. The law prohibits any statement that endorses or opposes any candidate for political office or that expresses a preference for the views of one candidate over those of another. PCC’s election resources have always respected that principle. Catholics are asked to prayerfully reflect on what they learn about candidates in light of our faith as they decide for whom they will cast their ballot,” added O’Hara. “The PCC’s resources, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Faithful Citizenship document, the Catechism and the Bible are all sources to be consulted.”