As New York state voters prepare to head to the polls to help decide the most heated and contested presidential primary in recent memory, the New York Catholic bishops are reminding the faithful of their political responsibility in staying true to Catholic doctrine.
"We want to invite you to prepare to vote by becoming familiar with both the candidates and the issues," the New York State Catholic Conference said in a release on their website. "Just voting for a name you recognize or a party you belong to does not fulfill your responsibility to build a good society where human dignity, personal freedom, care for one another - especially the vulnerable - and the common good prevail as values which should be cherished in our democracy."
Of the five main candidates vying for New York delegates - Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders for the Democrats, and Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Donald Trump for the Republicans - each have differing views on several tenants of Catholic doctrine, such as human life, war and peace, marriage, religious freedom, help for the poor, immigration, care for creation, and other social teachings.
While the Church does not endorse any candidate for office, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have developed a document, Faithful Citizenship, that educates voters on the teachings of the Church and how they apply to political life.
"Sadly, determining who to vote for is not always easy," the NYSCC said. "Pressure groups, especially the loudest ones, seek to shout down anyone who disagrees with them. Calm and thoughtful responses to issues are often drowned out. That makes the challenge to choose good candidates and support good programs even more difficult than in the past.
"But it makes these decisions even more important. We do have the resources to help you."
For more information, visit the Faithful Citizenship website.