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Election Year 2020 Guidelines and Resources

Each election season, there are many questions raised: 

“How can I familiarize myself with the issues?”

“Where can I get reliable Catholic guidance?”

“Which candidates most closely conform with Catholic doctrine and teaching?”

These are all questions that as responsible Catholics, we should be praying through and considering. Because of the polarized situation and the significance of the issues involved, great care should be exercised in presenting the issues. 

As this election cycle continues to progress, the following critical guidelines must be observed in our parishes:

  • Priests, deacons, parish staff or parishioners may not publicly endorse or refer to particular candidates when they are acting or speaking on behalf of the Church. This includes before, during, or after the Mass or in parish-sponsored gatherings. Those who may speak on these matters in any parish setting should speak to issues, but may not publicly endorse or support specific candidates. 
  • The distribution of election year materials in any parish setting is prohibited unless published by the diocesan bishop, the Michigan Catholic Conference, or the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
  • To this end, the following election year materials are permitted. You are strongly encouraged to review and share these resources, which directly answer common questions, outline the do’s and don’ts of parish-based activity, and provide voter guides, special prayers and signs:

Parish Resource2020 Election Year Guidelines for Catholic Parishes and Organizations (Also in Spanish
Parish ResourceDo’s and Don’ts Guidelines During Election Season
Individual Voter ResourceThe Issues, The Candidates, and Your Vote 2020 
Individual Voter ResourceFaithful Citizenship

This election will have a significant impact on parishioners in our diocese: In addition to local races, voters will cast their ballot for President of the United States, one of Michigan’s two U.S. Senate seats, all 14 seats in the Michigan congressional delegation, two justices for the Michigan Supreme Court, two members of the State Board of Education, and the 110-member Michigan House of Representatives.

We each have a moral obligation to participate in meaningful and edifying dialogue, and to vote in accordance with a well-formed conscience. It seems the political climate grows increasingly contemptible each election cycle, and often the leading weeks become divisive and contentious, unfortunately even in our Catholic communities. However, this is a wonderful opportunity to be reminded that we are called to be a people set apart, a “city on a hill”— and this means that we will act in charity to one another and participate for the common good.