Every four years arrives both a great opportunity to participate in the democratic process and a brutal marathon of attack ads and speechifying that can exhaust all but the most partisan of voters. Presidential election years seem to combine the best and the worst of American politics, but what is undeniable is that for months on end, little else gets much attention.

This election year, it would be a big mistake to overlook what else is on the ballot. As Brian Fraga reports (see Page 4), there are many ballot measures that require the attention of all voters, especially Catholics. The moral issues involved and the implications for our country are such that Catholics must school themselves in what the Church teaches on a variety of issues, from the treatment of undocumented immigrants to abortion, same-sex marriage and physician-assisted suicide.

In their document “Forming Citizens for Faithful Citizenship”, the U.S. bishops remind Catholics that we are obliged to “build a more just and peaceful world through morally acceptable means, so that the weak and vulnerable are protected and human rights and dignity are defended.” This begins with opposition to threats to innocent human life.

The Catechism reminds us that one of our most fundamental responsibilities as citizens and as Catholics is to vote.

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