Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good Voter Guide

The CACG voter guide has just been posted online. A sample:

In our country, a long series of social and political achievements give testimony to the thirst for justice and human dignity that are at the core of the Church’s social teaching. From the creation of Social Security and unemployment insurance during the New Deal, to the establishment of Medicare and Medicaid to provide health care to the elderly and the poor, our government has taken steps in the direction of greater social justice. The growth of organized labor in the first half of the twentieth century not only protected the rights of workers, but helped raise the living standards of the entire society. The passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act guaranteed that no Americans be denied their rights as citizens to equitable treatment before the law.


Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good celebrates these national achievements and devotes itself to defending them.

Sadly, in America today, our nation’s political, social and economic debate has been assaulted in recent years by a different understanding of the human vocation, one in which there is no room for Christ and no room for Christian love. This different understanding, exemplified by the Tea Party, is rooted in explicitly anti-Christian teachings, it celebrates a hyper-individualism that specifically denies the possibility of a Common Good, and is dedicated to a form of social Darwinism in which the poor and vulnerable are despised and only the achievements and wealth of the strong merit political protection. In order to protect exorbitant tax cuts for the super-rich, some advocate terminating social programs that promote the poor and middle class, both at home and abroad, often in ways that are profoundly anti-life. Many have sought to deny the basic rights of workers to organize and collectively bargain. In the strongest possible terms, we denounce this new ideology as un-Christian, un-Catholic, and, indeed, as a perversion of America’s own best traditions.

The election of 2012 will be a choice between competing visions for America’s future. No candidate and no party completely adhere to the vision of Pope Benedict XVI. Ours is a pluralistic society in which many do not share our Catholic values. It is our hope that the essential beauty of Pope Benedict’s vision, and the humane values of Catholic social teaching, will appeal to all men and women of goodwill. We bring that vision and those values into the public square because they animate us in all we do, privately and publicly. We invite our fellow Catholics to consider carefully how candidates do, and do not, embrace that vision and those values and to make prudential judgments about which candidates are best able to achieve political results that reflect Christian love. We offer this voter guide to help inform our fellow Catholics about their specifically political vocation as Catholic Christians in the United States.

Let us say at the outset: We do not in any way wish to claim for ourselves the right to speak for the Catholic Church, nor for all Catholics. Instead, we offer this voter guide to show how we apply the teachings of our Church to the problems of our day. We here seek to take up the call issued by the U.S. bishops in their document “Faithful Citizenship” to form our consciences, guided by the Church’s teaching, examining the issues we face, and reaching informed, conscientious decisions about the issues we hold dear, as Catholics and as Americans.

See the full guide here.

Tim Reidy


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Thomas Rooney OFS
6 years 11 months ago
Sen. Santorum should browse....
J Cosgrove
6 years 11 months ago
I will repeat my oft ignored question.

Is something socially just if it has effects that hurt the poor?  In other words are good intentions alone enough to describe a certain action or policy as socially just?  Or should the results of such actions be the real basis for deciding what is socially just?

Then there is the philosophical questions of what do terms such as ''justice'' or ''fairness'' mean.
Juan Lino
6 years 11 months ago
I initially thought this post was about Catholics for the Common Good, an interesting lay apostolate, but on closer inspection I see it’s not.  I’ve personally found these “voter’s guides” to be very helpful:
I will read the one Tim cited and then check it against the CCC and other magisterial documents.
6 years 11 months ago
Thanks for the links, Juan.
J Cosgrove
6 years 11 months ago
''Come now, JR and Brett, there is a whole lot of ''me, my, mine uber alles'' underlying the Tea Party agenda.''

I say something about the hypocrisy of those who espouse social justice and this reply appears.  How does that follow?

I will gladly discuss the Tea Party but I did not comment on it even though Mr. Reidy published an article that denigrates it.  If one wants to honestly know more about the Tea Party then I suggest all that want to comment on it be conversant with what is published on

This is one of the most popular blogs on the internet and covers the Tea Party.
Tom Maher
6 years 10 months ago
Dave Smith (# 2) 

I have to agree with you Dave.  The third parargrph is a show-stopper.  Very heavy handed propaganda to assert without proof or an example that " our nation’s political, social and economic debate has been assaulted in recent years by a different understanding of the human vocation, one in which there is no room for Christ and no room for Christian love."

Very heavy stuff.  Catholics are very prone to the idea that the end justifies the mens.  If you beleive in something it is ok to disparage and condemn other points of view and  attack the people themsleves for having a different point of view as somehow unworthy.  The harsh judgements base on personal say-so is so ignorant and moralistic and fails to show the proper respect for other people.   

The problem is that Catholics are not taught to expect debate.  Everything is absolute and eveyone in the world are expected to have a single interpretation of the truth which is their own as acquired from their own little Catholis  ghetto that they happened to be brought up in.  But even most Cahtolics do not have the same worldview let alone other people brought up etirely differently.  Why expect everyone to have the same politcal point of view?   

With this intolerant, personal zealotry these people have no problem condemn people with a different point of view.  How peaceful is it to single out the Tea Party by name and then falsely smear this group and misrepresent their political concerns.  The Tea party is lheld up as being anti-Christian becasue they do not agree with Catholic Alliance for the Common Good political agenda.  The "common good" of course is a wild card that could be anything depending on what mode your in .  But how can this group say out of hand that the Tea Party's concern for the impact of explding national debt is not a valid concern for the "common good"?   Intolerance of other people's ideas and  concrens demonstrates a lack of insight in failing to recognize and deal with the complexities of reality.  No one group has a perfect understanding of the numerous and complex political realities facing American society.  
6 years 11 months ago
Come now, JR and Brett, there is a whole lot of "me, my, mine uber alles" underlying the Tea Party agenda. In fact, in most places where the party has flourished, it is the whole agenda when you boil off the froth.


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