Election Do’s and Don’ts

With statewide and local elections approaching, please remember to engage in productive civil discourse in your parish, personal writings and in social media, including memes. 

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)’s guidelines state: 

“Parishes and other IRS-designated section 501(c)(3) church organizations are prohibited from participating in political campaign activity. Thus, certain political activities that are entirely appropriate for individuals may not be undertaken by church organizations or their representatives.” 

“Do not endorse or oppose candidates, political parties, or groups of candidates, or take any action that reasonably could be construed as endorsement or opposition.”

That is, neither the Church nor anyone speaking on behalf of the Catholic Church or its agencies may support or oppose any candidate or political party, but the Church may address the moral aspect of political issues.

The following Do’s and Don’ts should be followed in all parishes within the Archdiocese of Atlanta:

DO:

  • Address the moral and human dimensions of public issues.
  • Share church teaching on human life, human rights, justice and peace.
  • Allow distribution only of political literature that is approved and issued by the USCCB.

DO NOT:

  • Endorse or oppose candidates for political office.
  • Allow distribution of political literature on parish property or under church auspices.
  • Arrange for groups to work for a candidate for public office.
  • Invite only selected candidates to address your church-sponsored group.
  • Distribute a biased candidate survey.

For more information, please visit the USCCB website.