Updates from the Office of Justice, Peace and Care for Creation, July 4, 2024



Almighty God, Ruler of all the peoples of the earth,
forgive our shortcomings as a nation,
our hearts to see and love the truth,
give wisdom to our leaders,
and steadfastness to our people,
and bring us at last to that fair city of peace
foundations are mercy, justice, and goodwill,
of which you are the designer and builder;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. -

Woodrow Wilson

Democracy Watch

On Monday, the Supreme Court put forth a ruling that has substantively changed our democracy. Most view it as a political move to benefit a former administration. In addition to that, it has also changed what we are as a country. In the United States, no one is above the law. No one should have immunity for crime, even if committed while holding public office – maybe especially while holding public office.

In her dissenting opinion, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote, "In every use of official power, the president is now a king above the law" and “With fear for our democracy, I dissent.” She warns that this ruling could even allow the president to kill political opponents with impunity.

Many in the judiciary, as well as activists, have called for Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, to recuse themselves from these decisions due to conflicts of interest. The recent decision centers around the attack on Congress on January 6, 2021. This ruling will have consequences for any further judicial action regarding then President Trump’s actions on that day. Justices Alito and Thomas both have conflicts of interest regarding the attack.

This isn’t the only recent questionable ruling by the current Supreme Court. They recently passed down the Chevron Decision which weakens the ability of the EPA and other government agencies to enforce regulations. This decision will help the profits of the very companies that have been providing expensive vacations to several justices. Many are calling for them to recuse themselves. They continue to refuse. What can we do? These decisions are a done deal, at least for now, but we can make it more difficult in the future for justices to rule on a case in which they have a conflict of interest. Call on your elected officials to pass the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act (SB 359) There are online petitions you can sign, but direct contact with your elected officials is more effective. If you haven’t already, it’s time to get loud!


Faith and Public Life has started a new podcast/radio show titled Wrestling Out Loud: Faith and Liberation.

The USCCB has released new materials for Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. We are invited to read and share these materials, which guide our political responsibility as Catholics and faithful citizens. The information is available in English and Spanish.
New Introductory Note to Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: English | Spanish.
The Role of the Church in American Political Life: English | Spanish.
The Dignity of the Human Person: English | Spanish.
The Common Good: English | Spanish.
Solidarity: English | Spanish.
Subsidiarity: English | Spanish.

“In the Catholic Tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation.” — Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, No. 13. The USCCB encourages us all to form our conscience and vote! It is a call of our faith.