Faithful Citizenship – Forming Consciences

Election season is here, and to support you and your commitment to be a Catholic engaged in the betterment of our community, we will be doing a weekly article until November 6 on issues that are important to consider as you decide for whom you will vote. We’ll be drawing heavily from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ document, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship (, and we invite you to check out the full document and the many helpful supporting materials.

This week we look at the issue of conscience formation. The USCCB tells us that “The Church equips its members to address political and social questions by helping them to develop a well-formed conscience… Conscience is not something that allows us to justify doing whatever we want, nor is it a mere “feeling” about what we should or should not do. Rather, conscience is the voice of God resounding in the human heart, revealing the truth to us and calling us to do what is good while shunning what is evil.” We form our consciences by being open to the truth, studying scripture, examining facts, prayerfully reflecting, seeking prudent advice, learning the Church’s teachings, and utilizing the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The Catechism reminds us that this is a lifelong process (1784).