PORTLAND — To assist voters as Election Day (Nov. 3) approaches, the Diocese of Portland has launched a special Faithful Citizenship resource section to assist visitors in the exercise of their rights and duties as participants in our democracy.

The page (www.portlanddiocese.org/faithful-citizenship) includes a variety of helpful information, including Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship in English and Spanish. Prepared by the Catholic bishops of the United States, the teaching document aims to help Catholics understand their political responsibility, contribute to civil and respectful public dialogue and shape political choices in light of Catholic teaching.

While Catholics are encouraged to vote, the Catholic Church does not tell them for whom to vote nor does it endorse candidates. Instead, the Church helps Catholics “form their consciences in accordance with God’s truth.” The bishops state, “We recognize that the responsibility to make choices in political life rests with each individual in light of a properly formed conscience, and that participation goes well beyond casting a vote in a particular election.”

The section also features Bishop Robert Deeley’s recent reflection on faithful citizenship that appears in the September/October 2020 issue of “Harvest,” the official magazine of the Diocese of Portland.

“The Church affirms that every Catholic is called to prayerful, active, and responsible participation in the political process,” said Bishop Deeley. “As such, I urge all of us, who are eligible, to register and vote. In voting, then, in fulfilling our faithful citizenship, we, indeed, carry the cross, because we live out the call to holiness and work with Christ as he builds his kingdom of love.”

Information about absentee voting in Maine can also be found on the Faithful Citizenship page.