Holy Spirit Parish at Geist Mass Sanctuary-Alter

Indiana Catholic Conference

The Election and the campaign season are upon us. As past experience has proven, pastors and church leaders will be called upon by zealous and well meaning parishioners to engage in the election process.  Having faithful Catholics take part in the election is to be encouraged. However, there is a proper role for the laity and for the institutional Church. The accompanying materials are to clarify these roles and to provide guidelines regarding appropriate and inappropriate Church activities.

To provide support and guidance the Indiana Catholic Conference makes available “Guidelines for Pastors and Parishes on Lobbying and Electioneering” click here which outlines the areas of acceptable and prohibited activities. These are formatted for easy reference as questions arise in the coming weeks. However, as the Guidelines state, if you have further questions, please contact us for assistance.

It is fairly well understood that the Church cannot endorse candidates and that issues advocacy is permissible. While explicit candidate materials are easily identified, problems develop when advocacy crosses the lines to partisan or candidate support in disguise. Another problem comes with materials that claim to be Catholic but either distort or only provide one dimension of Catholic teaching.  The policy in Indiana is that no material may be distributed at the parish unless it is published by the USCCB, ICC or the respective diocese.

In addition to the Guidelines, a short primer on why the Church does not support or oppose candidates (click here) is provided for reference. It will be published in diocesan papers to provide better appreciation of the Church’s policy, but you may find it helpful as this topic arises in your parish.

In addition to the electronic copy herewith, the Guidelines are available on the web at www.indianacc.org . Also, it is printed and copies are available from our office.

ICC is here to help; let us know how we can be of service.

Glenn Tebbe
Executive Director
Indiana Catholic Conference

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