My Response: While affirming the importance of primacy of conscience and the principles of Catholic social teaching in the upcoming election, the U.S. bishops clearly promote a one -issue approach in complex moral decision- making in their guideline on Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. See #42.
In forming their consciences, Catholics must seek the truth by examining what is right and just as they discern the choices before them. Missing from the bishops guidelines is the example of Jesus in the gospels who embraced an ethic of divine accompaniment and inclusivity in moral decision making. All our political choices should be rooted in the ethics of love and responsible action. What is the best choice of political leaders who will do the most good and least harm in the light of deeply rooted values of justice, compassion and the fullness of life for all?
Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, email@example.com, https://arcwp.org
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17. As stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act that he is going to perform, is in the process of performing, or has already completed. In all he says and does, man is obliged to follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right" (no. 1778).
18. The formation of conscience includes several elements. First, there is a desire to embrace goodness and truth. For Catholics, this begins with a willingness and openness to seek the truth and what is right by studying Sacred Scripture and the teaching of the Church as contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is also important to examine the facts and background information about various choices. Finally, prayerful reflection is essential to discern the will of God. Catholics must also understand that if they fail to form their consciences in the light of the truths of the faith and the moral teachings of the Church they can make erroneous judgments.