The Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati this week sent a letter to all local parishes warning them to keep politics off the pulpit.
The letter reminds pastors and parishioners that church leadership may not endorse parties or candidates or take any action that could be construed as endorsement, let candidates or parties use church facilities, distribute political materials in church or use church publications to promote a party or candidate.
“The Church has the responsibility to provide moral guidance on political issues; however, the Church does not wish to engage in political activity,” Chancellor the Rev.
Some Cincinnati-area parishes had placed stacks of tickets to a rally for Rep. Paul Ryan or stacks of Republican sample ballots, according to Parishes Without Politics, a group of lay Catholics.
“We think the Cincinnati Archdiocese’s letter should be a model for bishops nationwide and the rest of the Church leadership,” group spokesperson Deborah Rose-Milavec wrote in an emailed statement.
“Catholics should feel free to vote their own consciences without being bombarded by partisan political messages from the pulpits, on parish websites, in parish bulletins, in the vestibules or anywhere else on parish property.”
CityBeat has previously written about how both major parties are using different aspects of Catholic social teaching to woo voters.