Coffee Discussion Guide

Sitting down with a mocha frappuccino or a chai tea latte? 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 leads.

  1. What do you think it means to be a "faithful citizen"? Would you call yourself one?
  2. 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?
  3. 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.)
  4. 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.)
  5. The four principles and seven themes of Catholic social teaching are summarized in paragraphs 40-56. Which of these principles or themes help you to view issues in new ways? Which of these principles or themes do you think are most often forgotten in public discourse?
  6. 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.)
  7. 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.)
  8. What issues mentioned in the document do you feel called to do something about? What do you feel called to do?
  9. 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?
  10. How do you think society, and politics, would change if all Catholics became committed to being "faithful citizens"?