by Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
In its almost 50 year history, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice has never advised its members who to vote for or against. We have always encouraged members to get involved in politics, spoken about the issues, compared candidates, and equipped our members with resources to choose elected officials who support the common good. And we will continue to do that, but this year’s election is different. Catholics cannot be true to their faith and vote for Donald Trump in November.
Pope Francis and Catholic teaching are clear about the sacred issues that voters must bring with them into the voting booth. Catholics are called to defend, promote, and protect the sacredness of human life in every way. To do that, we must support candidates who will protect people in poverty, the elderly, and migrants and reject racism. To be true to this holy call, we cannot be single-issue voters. Faithful Catholics are multi-issue voters. Prayerful consideration of the candidates for President makes it clear: Catholics cannot vote for Donald Trump.
NETWORK Lobby has a lot planned for the next 85 days, including bringing people together for the virtual Nuns on the Bus tour, publishing a multi-issue candidate comparison scorecard, and launching a new Pope Francis Voter website. The faithful way forward is to elect new leadership for our nation’s highest office. Catholics must show the country that they do not support this President and his policies of hate and division.
“Catholics cannot be true to their faith and vote for Donald Trump in November. Every day, I see the cracks in our nation’s foundational values growing wider. President Trump is doing everything in his power to divide us, while our economy and health care systems collapse under the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a spiritual crisis, and our faith and patriotism compel us to speak and to act.
“Pope Francis has been clear about the sacred issues that Catholics and all people of goodwill are called to prioritize. These include protecting people in poverty, the elderly, and migrants and rejecting racism. Donald Trump does not share these values or act on these principles. In a word, President Trump promotes racism. This evil cannot be ignored. Once again I hear Pope Francis’s words: “We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life.” Dismantling racism in our country must be a foundational part of any pro-life agenda. President Trump’s attitudes and policies are contradictory to this holy effort.
“In this time of crisis, we are called to speak clearly: Catholics cannot support another presidential term for Donald Trump and be true to their faith.”