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Advocacy with Others - the Church

Besides advocating for your position with elected officials, become  an advocate with others, including family members, friends, and associates; corporations; and the Church.

The Church

Sometimes  our Church is at the vanguard of education and advocacy campaigns, and  other times it needs to be encouraged to do more. Often we have great  resources to draw on from Scripture, Catholic Social Teaching (CST), and  statements from the Pope and U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops  (USCCB); but the information and urgency for action may not have  filtered down to the diocesan and parish levels.

According to the Code of Canon Law, Can. 212,

§2.  The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the  Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.

§3.  According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they  possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to  the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of  the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian  faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with  reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and  the dignity of persons.

Hence, appropriate forms of advocacy  within the Church could include letters or emails to the USCCB or one’s  own bishop or pastor, meetings with them or their staffs, social media  messaging (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), and letters to the editors of  Catholic publications. We can also join with others who are working both  within the Church and in the public sphere to advance policies  consistent with CST. In particular, approaches to the USCCB or its staff  should be coordinated with Pax Christi USA, which may prefer to take  the lead.

The Bishops of Arlington and Richmond have formed the Virginia Catholic Conference (VCC) to represent them and their dioceses in advocacy before the Virginia  General Assembly, the U.S. Congress, and state and federal agencies. The  Archbishops of Baltimore and Washington and the Bishop of Wlimington  have formed the Maryland Catholic Conference (MCC) to do the same with respect to the Maryland General Assembly and other  government officials. We can join in their public advocacy efforts, and  we can also be advocates to the VCC and MCC for issues we’d like them to  include in their agendas.

Return to the main Advocacy page for additional guidance on advocacy.

Posted in Advocacy on Apr 06, 2018


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