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US Elections: Sisters on Promoting Issues Not Candidates

While the presence of men or women religious at a political event may already “telegraph” their belief that a particular candidate or campaign is “worth listening to,” St. Joseph Sr. Christine Schenk said, “There’s a wisdom in not outright endorsing any one candidate.”

The wisdom of not endorsing contains practical as well as prophetic reasons: for example, sisters’ roles as pastoral leaders who are effective and inclusive, as well as the need to be cautious in not associating too closely with candidates who are unpredictable. (It is to the discretion of one’s immediate superior to discipline the cleric or religious who violate this code.)

An explicit endorsement “sends the impression that God’s on their side,” said Schenk, an NCR columnist and co-founder FutureChurch. “We’re a big-tent church, and we need to be available and approachable by Catholics in every political stripe. … People need to feel that they can approach their religious leadership as they are.”

Source: Global Sisters Report

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