Church Guidelines in Voting

The Catholic Bishops of California are asking the faithful to vote YES on Proposition 62, which will replace California’s death penalty with a sentence of life without parole, and NO on Proposition 66, which purports to streamline the death penalty appeals process and reduce its costs but will in fact do neither.

At times, various groups of Catholic Bishops, or other groups or individuals in the Church take stands on particular issues, or propositions, as above. However, with particular candidates, we are not supposed to tell you how to vote. Church leaders or Church groups may advise you about where the candidates stand on various issues, but we do not (or should not) tell you who to vote for. I have heard of priests telling people in homilies, even on YouTube, that they must vote for, or not vote for, certain candidates. But that is not right, since each person in voting must follow their conscience (and it should be an informed conscience), just as they should follow their conscience in other areas of their lives. Propositions are usually very cut and dry, and deal clearly with a particular issue, thus it is easier for the Church to recommend a position on it. But with individuals running for office, it is much more complex: there are many factors to consider, including their stance on many different topics, as well as their character, personal maturity, honesty and overall readiness to take up (or continue in) that office. So be aware when others tell you who you should vote for! For more information go to: