“We . . . have a duty to inform ourselves about issues so as to vote conscientiously. Everyone guides his or her choices by something. For Catholics, that something should be the teachings of Christ and his Church.”

Dubuque Archbishop Michael Jackels

 

On caucus night, Iowans gather by party preference at their precinct sites to elect delegates to the 99 county conventions. The event is a statewide invitation to Iowans to gather in their communities to consider presidential candidates and issues and is the first-in-the-nation test of the 2016 electoral cycle.

The Iowa caucuses are designed as assemblies that welcome the participation of not only the most politically active, but everyday citizens. By our participation, Catholics can help create a foundation built on a moral vision that reflects the life and dignity of the human person.

Before the caucus begins, take time to consider candidates and their positions through the lens of Catholic moral and social teaching. At the initial stage of discernment, be a Catholic first and political partisan second. Focus on the consistency of the message of Catholic teaching and judge candidates for their ability to integrate that message into one that excludes no one, particularly the most vulnerable.

You can register to vote or switch party registration at the caucus site. To see where your precinct will meet, go to www.iowademocrats.org or www.iowagop.org.

Typically following the presidential preference process, there will be time to present resolutions for approval by the precinct. These may cover a range of issues and positions and will influence the direction of the party platform. Many groups will have resolutions ready. We have a few suggestions that you could choose among to bring to your caucus:

 

  • We support insuring that parents, regardless of income, have access to the education best suited to their children. Therefore we support broadening financial assistance to families through education savings accounts to allow their children to attend the school of their choice.
  • We oppose trafficking in fetal parts and tissue collected from abortion procedures.
  • We support legislation that restricts abortion.
  • We support ending hunger in the United States and around the world by 2030.
  • We support protecting the basic human rights of documented and undocumented immigrants and refugees.
  • We support the resettlement of properly-vetted refugees in Iowa.
  • Freedom of conscience and of religion are primary and inalienable rights of the human person. Public policy must guard religious freedom by limiting government intrusion into religious matters. Iowa should ensure that laws do not burden the free exercise of religion, including the provision of social services, absent a compelling governmental interest.
  • We oppose disproportionate cuts to programs that support the poor and vulnerable.
  • We support measures to preserve, protect, and improve the quality of the air, water, and land in Iowa.

 

For more information:

Caucus like a Catholic handout

Conscience-Formation-bulletin-insert[8]

IowaCatholicConference Faithful Citizenship Flyer B&W 2014

IowaCatholicConference Faithful Citizenship Spanish Flyer B&W 2014

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship”

Comparison on some issues by the Des Moines Register