As the Catechism of the Catholic Church notes, "Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote and to defend one’s country" (2240).
The U.S. bishops’ "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship" discusses key issues citizens must consider when voting:
"Abortion, the deliberate killing of a human being before birth, is never morally acceptable and must always be opposed. Cloning and destruction of human embryos for research or even for potential cures are always wrong.
"The purposeful taking of human life by assisted suicide and euthanasia is not an act of mercy, but an unjustifiable assault on human life. Genocide, torture, and the direct and intentional targeting of noncombatants in war or terrorist attacks are always wrong.
"Laws that legitimize any of these practices are profoundly unjust and immoral. Our conference supports laws and policies to protect human life to the maximum degree possible, including constitutional protection for the unborn and legislative efforts to end abortion and euthanasia.
"We also promote a culture of life by supporting laws and programs that encourage childbirth and adoption over abortion and by addressing poverty, providing health care and offering other assistance to pregnant women, children and families."
The bishops add: "The family is the basic cell of human society. The role, responsibilities and needs of families should be central national priorities. Marriage must be defined, recognized and protected as a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman and as the source of the next generation and the protective haven for children."
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