Sitting down with a mocha frappuccino or a chai tea latte? Ready to philosophize, hyopthesize, and theologize? Then pull out your copy of Faithful Citizenship and sit down with a friend or two to reflect on the statement's deep themes: How does your faith affect your views on issues facing your world? What is the relationship between your roles as a Catholic and as a citizen? How do you feel called to respond to issues you care about? Use the questions below, or go where the spirit (and the caffeine!) leads.
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- What do you think it means to be a "faithful citizen"?
Would you call yourself one?
- The Catholic Church teaches that all people are created in God's image and with dignity. Why does this belief matter? How might such a perspective affect your views and understanding of people around you and in the world who are suffering or vulnerable?
- What is the Church's role in politics? In what ways should it try to influence the political sphere? (See paragraphs 9 to 12 of Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship to inspire discussion.)
- How should people bring their religious beliefs into their political decisions and involvement? How does your own faith influence your perspectives about various issues? (See paragraphs 13-16 to spark conversation.)
- The seven themes of Catholic social teaching are summarized in paragraphs 40-56. Which of these themes help you to view issues in new ways? Which of these themes do you think are most often forgotten in public discourse?
- What goes into developing a person's conscience? What helped you develop your conscience in your own life? What is the relationship between conscience, the virtue of prudence, and your political decisions? (See paragraphs 17-20.)
- How can "avoiding evil" and "doing good" be seen as two sides of a coin? Why are both necessary to be a "faithful citizen"? How do you personally act to reject evil and promote good? (See paragraphs 21-25.)
- What issues mentioned in the document do you feel called to do something about? What do you feel called to do?
- Have you ever fallen into either of the two "temptations in public life" the bishops describe in paragraphs 27-29? Or have you ever witnessed a situation in which one of these attitudes was present? What was the result of such ways of thinking?
- How do you think society, and politics, would change if all Catholics became committed to being "faithful citizens"?