Are you prepared to vote?

Everything Catholic voters need to know before picking up a ballot on November 8.

General Moral Principles

Doing Good and Avoiding Evil in Voting

The first principle of morality is to do good and avoid evil. We cannot really do this unless we know what good things ought to be sought, and what evils are to be avoided entirely, or tolerated for a time under certain circumstances. In all of this Catholic teaching gives us concrete guidance.

In the following pages are addressed in detail the General Moral Principles summarized below, as well as the Specific Issues and their related moral principles.

Catholics Must Form Their Consciences by Church Teaching

This obligation flows from the virtue of faith, since belief in Christ is also belief in the Church and Christ’s promises to the Church.

Church Teaching

Morally Good Acts Are Good in Object, End and Circumstances

We are morally obliged to perform acts which are good 1) in their Object (the thing to be done), 2) in their End (intention) and 3) in their Circumstances.

Object, End and Circumstance

A Morally Good Act Will Be Prudent

Prudence is the Queen of Virtues, as it governs the knowledge and judgment of our acts. St. Thomas Aquinas identifies 8 integral parts of prudence which are necessary for a perfectly prudent act: Memory, Understanding, Docility, Shrewdness, Reasoning, Foresight, Circumspection and Caution.


Morally Good Acts Will Not Cooperate in Evil

We may not formally cooperate in evil by doing it, intending it, encouraging it, flattering it, or approving of it. We may sometimes tolerate remote material cooperation under certain conditions described in the Church’s teaching on moral cooperation and the Principle of Double Effect.

Moral Cooperation in Evil

"The ideal politician for me is the one who has concern about your soul – that you have freedom of religion, peace and joy, work, security and assurance." "Pray before you vote – vote in the name of God. Pray that we will once again be a nation under God. Be brave, speak out for Jesus – tell the world how wonderful He is. Visit him! By your example will all men know. Words don’t mean much, example speaks a thousand words. I love you but God loves you lots. Don’t forget that." – Mother M. Angelica, P.C.P.A.

Citizens Have Co-Responsibility for Society

The duty to vote obliges depending on the issue and the worthiness of the candidates. It is more seriously obliged when a good candidate is opposed by an unworthy one, one may even vote for an enemy of religion or freedom, but only to exclude a worse enemy of religion and freedom.

Co-Responsibility for Society

Doing Good by Avoiding Evil

In determining which candidate is a greater threat to morality and liberty, non-negotiables issues outweigh negotiable issues, Non-negotiables involve common and essential goods, whereas, Negotiable policy issues involve differing opinions about the means to be used to achieve an end.

Avoiding Evil

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