Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Catholic Update Guide to Faithful Citizenship

Catholic Update Guide to Faithful Citizenship is a small book of only 50 pages. Like other books in the Catholic Update Guide series, it takes material from the Catholic Update newsletters. This particular volume was inspired by a document by the US Catholic bishops in response to the upcoming elections later this year. This book does not tell the faithful which party nor candidate for which to vote but rather educates on themes suggested by our bishops.

Did you know there are 7 key points in Catholic social teaching that can help to guide one when making that important decision of whom to cast their vote? Each was introduced with a paragraph and then commented on later in the book.

1. The right to life and the dignity of the human person.
2. Call to family, community, and participation.
3. Rights and responsibilities.
4. Option for the poor and vulnerable.
5. Dignity of work and the rights of workers.
6. Solidarity
7. Caring for God's creation

The book has just four chapters - the first introduced challenges to forming conscience (especially in relation to parishes instructing without telling folks how to vote), the second focused on voting and one's conscience (there was a focus on properly training one's conscience), human life issues (ran the gamut from abortion to stem cell research to cloning and more) and the last chapter dealt with responsibility for the world (just war, immigration, health care and more).

Each chapter ended with questions for reflection that would be especially useful in a group setting. I felt that the 7 points of Catholic social teaching were discussed unevenly. I realize some topics have more subtopics but I felt that some needed more meat for me to better understand and incorporate into my voting. This book could be very useful in RCIA, a high school course (some will be 18 years old and voting in November) and for small group discussions.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Catholic Update Guide to Faithful Citizenship. This is also a great Catholic gift store for all your seasonal shopping needs, such as Christian wedding gifts and Catholic Garden Gifts.

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