Politics and the Priesthood


Please move this is if it’s in the wrong subforum - I didn’t know where to place this topic.

I have seen footage of Catholic priests attending both Republican and Democratic events.

I can see where such overt partisan politicking could alienate parish members. I also know that neither political party represents Catholic teaching. On the other hand, priests are human and have their views and biases. They also care about issues and vote.

I don’t believe that there are any Magisterial prohibitions on partisan activism among clergy, but does the Church caution about any caveats or specify when it is or isn’t acceptable?


Clergy frequently offer invocation or other prayers at public events. Such prayers do not imply any political endorsement.

Can clergy attend political events as a participant? I suppose that would depend on what guidance their ordinary or superior offers. The Church as an institution should always be above partisan politics.


I think that would be acceptable.

It gets a little murkier when they’re clearly supporting the Party.


And it gets obnoxious when you’re a hostile audience to it all. I think it’s really tacky when a priest becomes the soundboard for a particular flavor of politics. There’s a certain popular priest online whose blog I used to really enjoy but now sounds more like the local talk radio station with the Catechism and fancy Latin phrases peppered in. At least in that case it’s his private blog and I availed myself of the “unsubscribe” button on my RSS feed reader. No harm, no foul. When priests start using the Prayers of the Faithful like their own personal blog of Facebook wall, then it’s downright inappropriate.


This is the incident that prompted me to start this thread. https://mtstandard.com/news/local/priests-attendance-at-trump-rally-causes-furor/article_845263e1-ccd6-5a62-9589-830350a39393.html

The article answers my questions pretty well:

In April 2011, the Montana Catholic Conference issued the following instruction on political advocacy for use by Catholic clergy and parishioners:

“Religious leaders should avoid taking positions on candidates or participating in political party matters even while acting in their individual capacity. Although not prohibited, it may be difficult to separate their personal activity from their public role as a Church leader.”

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