On this page we provide details on how to make your Catholic voice heard in the world of politics.
The fundamental value of the political community is the human person. The inherent dignity of each and every human being is what drives the need for state governance. It is, therefore, accurate to say that politics exists for and must serve the human community.
All elected representatives and those who work for them are obliged to serve the common good. In this sense they must not look out primarily for their own welfare but for the welfare of the entire community entrusted to them. The same applies to political parties.
How do I get involved?
There are many ways for us, as Catholics, to get involved in politics and to ensure our voice is heard.
Guided by the light of faith and the teaching of the Church, we should embrace the opportunities presented to us in our democratic society, and involve ourselves as far as possible in the work of Parliament and Government.
Here are some of the ways you can get involved:
- Engage with your MSPs and MP, either as an individual or as a parish community
- Respond to Consultations and Calls for Evidence
- Join a political party
- Sign up to our enewsletter
Engage with your MSPs and MP, either as an individual or as a parish community
Many of us may already engage with political candidates as we approach election time and this is something that we should continue doing. However, we shouldn’t restrict our engagement with political figures to election time only.
Politicians are elected to represent the interests of constituents and this is the case throughout the parliamentary term, be it four years or five years. We, therefore, must make the most of this and ensure that our elected representatives know of any concerns we have about government policy, proposed new legislation or perhaps an issue that has arisen in our local community.
If we do not communicate with our politicians they will never know about our concerns and they will be unable to possibly represent those concerns at a higher level.
It is also very important to engage with politicians, not just as an individual, but also as a parish community. There are hundreds of Catholic parishes throughout Scotland and they are all contributing in a positive way to the life of the local community. So here is a little advice….tell your local politicians about it! Whether you run a charity coffee morning, a homeless club, or a youth group it is vitally important that we make sure our elected representatives know about this good work. Invite them along to your next event and build up a positive link between them and your parish.
Remember, if you have an issue of national importance that you want to raise with an elected representative you should check whether or not it is a reserved matter (responsibility of the UK Parliament and your MP) or a devolved matter (responsibility of the Scottish Parliament and your MSPs). Click this link to check.
To contact your local MSPs/MP just follow the links below…
Find your Scottish Parliament MSPs
Find your UK Parliament MP
Respond to Consultations and Calls for Evidence
The Scottish and UK Governments, and sometimes the Parliaments, will publish consultations with the intention of ascertaining the public’s opinion on a particular policy area. Parliamentary committees may also publish a call for evidence on a particular issue that they are considering.
Whilst it can be a little time consuming depending on the nature of the subject, the importance of our involvement in consultations cannot be overstated. This is where the Government gets a feel for public opinion on a particular issue before they introduce new policy or legislation. It is, in effect, our chance to either support or raise concerns about the direction of travel of government.
The Church often responds to consultations, however, it is also incumbent upon the laity to get involved and we urge you to check our Politics Hub where we regularly update information relating to current consultations and calls for evidence, providing you with useful guidelines from Church documents.
Join a political party
There are a number of political parties operating in Scotland and the UK at present and they are always open to new members. It might be worth considering whether you could join one and allow the light of your faith to shine among its membership!
Each party has varying degrees of membership which will entitle you to certain rights of participation in party matters. Perhaps this is something you might want to explore further? Maybe you could check out all of the political parties and see if there is one in particular that you would quite like to work with in order to bring about change for the common good.
Whilst our participation in politics is very important it is also of critical importance to remember our obligations as Catholics. Sometimes we do need to compromise, especially in an age where Christian beliefs are under increasing threat. However, we must remember that the fundamental values of the human person – life, freedom and dignity – can never be compromised.
It may seem a bit obvious, but it is important to exercise your democratic right to vote! This is increasingly difficult for Catholics in a world seemingly devoid of candidates and parties who, for example, value the sanctity and dignity of all human life, but we must always remember to at least study those candidates standing in our constituencies and also the parties with which they are affiliated to see if their values resonate with those of our Catholic faith.
Sign up to our enewsletter
Please remember to sign up to our enewsletter and keep up-to-date with what’s happening in the political world and what you, as a Catholic, can do to get involved!