Here are just a few ways you can join us in our mission to defend the vulnerable and proclaim the Gospel.
Learn about the issues
Explore the issues section of this website to learn more about our advocacy efforts.
Act on national issues
Visit the USCCB’s Action Center to learn how you can advocate for issues of national importance.
Join our advocacy network!
Information on Advocacy for parishes
Parishes and other IRS-designated section 501(c)(3) church organizations are prohibited from participating in partisan political campaign activity, such as telling people to vote for a particular candidate, but may fully engage in issue advocacy without violating tax exemption status rules.
Activities that are allowed and encouraged
According to the USCCB Office of General Counsel, is is appropriate for parishes and Catholic organizations to:
- Address the moral and human dimensions of public issues
- Encourage civic engagement.
- Share Church teaching on human life, human dignity, the common good, justice and peace.
- Apply Catholic values to legislation and public issues.
- Educate on proposed legislation and ballot measures, including constitutional amendments.
- Non-partisan voter education, including results of candidate polls or surveys, that (1) is consistent with church teaching on political responsibility; (2) covers a wide range of issues important to voters; and (3) exhibits no bias for or against any candidate or party.
Activities to avoid
The USCCB Office of General Counsel advises that parishes and Catholic organizations should not:
- Endorse or oppose candidates for political office, political parties, or groups of candidates, or take any action that reasonably could be construed as endorsement or opposition
- Make available the use of church facilities, assets, or members for partisan political purposes
- Authorize distribution of partisan campaign materials or biased voter education materials (those that support or oppose—or exhibit bias for or against—any candidate or party) on church property, in church publications, or at church activities
- Invite or permit only selected candidates to address your members
- Arrange for groups to work for a candidate for public office
In summary, priests and other parish personnel can – and should – talk about the issues fully, as well as prompting people to overcome the temptation to tune out and, instead, get engaged. Click here to read the USCCB’s guidelines for political activity and lobbying by Catholic organizations and parishes.