Would it ever be a sin for a Catholic to work for CPS, or other government agencies?

Inspired by another topic, in which a poster who’s usually pretty level-headed seemed to imply that the majority of CPS agents and agencies, abuse their power and should not be trusted. Well, if most CPS agencies are like that, then it seems to follow, that it would be sinful to work for them, even if you yourself are not like that.

Now, I don’t know if anyone on CAF actually works for CPS, but I’m pretty sure some work for other government agencies. There’s also all those county clerks who may lose their jobs for not issuing civil marriage licences to same sex couples. There’s also the rather popular opinion I’ve seen on CAF these days, that the Church should “get out of the marriage business” or never should have let the “State” have any say over Church marriages in the first place.

So I wonder, would it ever be a sin for a Catholic to work for a civil government? AFAIK there is nothing inherently sinful about this, note it is not considered sinful to enlist in the Armed Forces (where you technically are a government employee), or join a Police Department, etc.

But I wonder if there are cases where it would be.

I’ve worked for a municipal government in a couple different departments. While it is definitely not an organization of integrity I don’t see how my working a well paying menial job for them could possibly be sinful. On the contrary, such organizations need more Catholics working for them or else they will only be run by people with mostly secular ideals. If a Catholic is being forced to do something against their conscience, that is another story.

If you are instructed by management to intentionally lie or mislead clients, it is sinful, in whatever kind of job. I was told to lie to clients in a call in marketplace. I saw that as unethical, purposely misleading to get the sale.

I don’t think it’s a sin to work for government agencies per se’. I don’t think it’s a sin to work for CPS.

Perhaps there are abuses and over aggressive investigations at times. I guess a system of monitoring could be put in place to weed out irresponsible investigators.

What I’ve observed about CPS in my area is that they are overworked, and often children fall between the cracks. There are news stories of children with an active CPS investigations who end up severely injured or dead because the investigator failed to see the problem.

A recent heartbreaking story is that of Myls Dobson from New York. Another story is that of Christian Choate, I believe from Indiana.

Both children were horribly abused and died due to their abuse. At the same time they had CPS investigations.

No it does not follow.

Government agencies established to protect children, the elderly, the vulnerable, etc.-- and government agencies in general-- are moral institutions. There is nothing immoral about them or working for them even if “most” people in the agencies are bad people. (I am not stipulating that anyone in government is a bad person, merely if all of them were it still would not make it sinful to work for the agency).

Not per se. There may be particular tasks that are intrinsically evil that a Catholic cannot cooperate with, but working for the government in and of itself is not sinful. For example, an Army nurse could not assist in a procured abortion nor an Army doctor conduct one (putting aside all the various current Federal US regulations pertaining to Federal dollars and abortion).

And I do think this was adequately addressed in the previous thread.

Well, I should point out that particular poster did clarify her statements, that she doesn’t personally think CPS is an immoral agency.

However, it seems some CAFer do believe in this idea that Catholics should just disengage from the government, for example I’ve heard of people who state they don’t even think they should go for jury duty because that’s somehow cooperating with evil to take part in a “justice” system they think is either generally corrupt, or has somehow lost moral authority by legalizing abortion and SSM, failing to enforce immigration law, etc.

So I assume someone who doesn’t even think it moral for Catholics to serve jury duty, which pays only a very minimal stipend, would also think it immoral for Catholics to have full-time government jobs.

My dad was a Federal employee. Most moral person I ever knew.
His agency did/does good work.
This is a non-starter.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.