Should Catholics get involved in politics?

CAFOD staff making the ‘Reach Out’ gesture - open arms - for the Share the Journey Campaign. ‘Reach Out’ is the symbol of a concrete mass action of meeting migrants, listening to their stories and sharing their journeys.

We asked three Catholics to share their views on faith, politics and campaigning. Here’s what they said:

Write to your Member of Parliament (MP)

Sr Bridgetta Rooney CSJP is a CAFOD campaigner who takes action through our MP Correspondent scheme

“Catholic Social Teaching has always urged Christians to become involved in politics, reminding us that it is our duty to

Sr Bridgetta
Sr Bridgetta writes to her MP regularly

speak out for the poor, the marginalised and those with special needs, who are not always heard by those in power. Being involved in CAFOD’s work as an MP Correspondent keeps me alert to current issues that I can write to my MP about and pray for.

No matter where I have lived I have always been able to contact my MP about issues I feel strongly about; whether it’s meeting them in the street, at church or in the local supermarket, or by writing to them. Our MP for Charnwood – Edward Argar – has been very eager to meet with myself and others to talk about issues, and in our correspondence has always provided a personal message letting me know he has read my email. He gives reasons for his stance, which is sometimes different from my own.

As Christians it’s our duty to engage in politics and to actively voice our opinions and stand up for what is right. If we do not speak up and if we don’t vote, then we can’t complain when we get a government we never wanted.”

Become an MP Correspondent today and we’ll write to let you know how you can get more involved with our campaign work.

Politics is about people

Edmond Kangamungazi is Economic and Social Accountability Programme Specialist at Caritas Zambia

Edmond Kangamungazi is Economic and Social Accountability Programme Specialist at Caritas Zambia
Edmond Kangamungazi is Economic and Social Accountability Programme Specialist at Caritas Zambia

“Politics is about people, so it is a good thing that Christians are involved in the political sphere. In the book of Genesis we see God inviting us to participate with him in his work; so being in politics means we are accepting God’s call.

As Christians we are entrusted to be peace makers. The main cause of poverty in the world is social injustice, and as Christians we are required to speak out about these oppressions. Through politics I can help rescue people from all social wrongs: bad living conditions, lack of opportunities, disenfranchisement.

It is important that Christians are involved in politics so that we can make people more aware of the importance of justice so that they are freed from oppression, bribery, corruption, and all other evils in this world.

In all this, there is a big difference between being involved in politics and being partisan!”

Listen to Pope Francis’ call for refugees and discover our Share the Journey campaign 

Contact Politicians to change everything

Robert Flello is Catholic and former MP for Stoke-on-Trent South

Catholic former MP Robert Flello is Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent South
Robert Flello is Catholic and former MP Labour for Stoke-on-Trent South

“We are called to the service of others and it is our Christian duty to seek a society which is fair, caring and encourages fruitful debate between all people. Of course we could leave it to someone else: we could hope that our politicians will make the sort of decisions we as Christians believe they should; we could let the loud voices of those who don’t have God’s world and his creation at heart dominate; or we could get involved and contact our politicians to ensure they hear the Christian voice.

My Catholic faith is fundamental to who I am. It guides all my political decisions, although of course my interpretation of things isn’t always correct. But it saddens me that issues of huge significance, matters of fundamental concern, don’t seem to get the attention of fellow Christians. Conversely, when Christians have taken the time to get in touch about issues impacting God’s creation, it really does strengthen my resolve and give me courage, particularly when a decision is unpopular (with other MPs).

If we really love God and genuinely care for our neighbours as ourselves then what’s our excuse for not contacting our politicians and letting them know about issues that are important to us? Your letter or email or phone call might just be the one that changes everything.”

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