All Under God
Do Catholics have responsibilities toward civil authority? Yes. What should guide such duties? The supremacy of God’s will and the common good. We read in the Gospel according to Matthew (22:15-22) how the Herodians tried to trick Jesus with the question: “Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?” Jesus exposes their ruse and hypocrisy by demanding they hand him a symbol of the Roman political authority, a coin that bore divine Caesar's image. He says that as much as they live under the Romans' political leadership and governance and enjoy the services they offer, they are obligated to adhere to reasonable laws like paying taxes. “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”
All things belong to God, including political leaders. The United States is under God. In essence, the truth of God’s words must circumscribe our country and not the other way. We Americans love our country. We reflect our patriotism in the nation’s flag displayed prominently in our sanctuary. Accordingly, we are called to play our civic duties in voting during elections as a part of our civic responsibilities as Christian Americans. During each election year, the USCCB reminds us to form our conscience right with the aid of the Church's Gospel and teachings. Bishop Gainer reminds us in his 2020 election letter: “In their statement on Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, the U.S. Catholic bishops urge Catholics to form their consciences through being open to truth, studying Scripture and Church teaching, examining facts and background information, and prayerful reflection.”
As good Catholic citizens of this great country, let us do what is necessary before voting, let us form our conscience correctly, and give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and God what belongs to God,” and all things are under God.
Please search and read: https://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/faithful-citizenship/parishes-and-schools/upload/Conscience-Formation-bulletin-insert.pdf
In Christ our Lord,
Fr. Bernard, OP