Maryland Catholic Conference (MCC) has posted on its website (www.mdcathcon.org/elections) all of the candidate responses to its 2014 election surveys. Every election year, the Maryland Catholic Conference surveys Maryland candidates for the U.S. Congress, governor and General Assembly about their positions on issues of interest to Catholics.
Reflecting the diverse interests of the Catholic Church, the survey covered topics ranging from protecting unborn life and physician-assisted suicide to immigration and nonpublic schools. The candidates were asked to “Agree” or “Disagree” with a list of issue statements. They also were given the opportunity to provide written comments on each of the survey questions.
“During their upcoming terms, the men and women we choose to represent us will decide many issues affecting the values the Church promotes in the public square, including the sanctity of life, the dignity of the human person, support for Catholic and other nonpublic school students and families, and the needs of the most vulnerable members of our society,” said MCC Executive Director Mary Ellen Russell.
“Many races in Maryland will essentially be decided in the primary, often by fewer than a hundred votes. We urge our Catholic voters to learn about the issues, pray and then go out and vote in the primary on June 24,” said Russell.
“The public policy positions of the Church may seem contradictory from a conservative-liberal, Democratic-Republican perspective, but from the lens of our faith, they reflect a compelling and consistent understanding of human life and the common good,” she said.
This week and next, the survey responses are being published in the Catholic newspapers of Maryland – The Catholic Review in the Baltimore area, and The Catholic Standard and the Spanish-language El Pregonero in the Washington area. Together, these papers boast a Maryland readership of 200,000. The survey responses also are being distributed through the dioceses to all 280 parishes in Maryland.
The Maryland Catholic Conference does not endorse or oppose any candidate, under any circumstance, and no inference of endorsement or opposition should be concluded as a result of the surveys or the responses.
Each candidate received the survey by email; non-responding candidates received additional copies of the survey by email at least four times and were contacted at least once by phone.
Maryland Catholic Conference advocates for the Church's public policy positions before the Maryland General Assembly and other civil officials. The Conference represents all three dioceses with territory in the state – the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington.