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Guidelines for Political Activities at Parishes

Committed to principled nonpartisan engagement in the political process, the Church does not and will not engage in partisan politics. The Church does not support or oppose any candidate or party, but seeks to focus attention on the moral and human dimensions of issues.

At the same time, we strongly urge all parishioners to become informed on key issues and to vote. In a democracy, loving our neighbor and caring for the least among us means supporting leaders and policies that promote the common good and protect society’s most vulnerable members. Helping Catholics recognize and act on this dimension of their faith is an essential task for parish leaders.
Diocesan Policies

Both dioceses of North Dakota have adopted the following policy:

Materials that mention specific candidates or political parties in any manner may not be distributed at or by any parish or diocesan entity.

For example, the diocesan policy prohibits the following types of materials:

  • voter guides that mention a candidate’s position on an issue;
  • voting records that state an incumbent’s record on an issue;
  • candidate surveys; and
  • materials that describe a political party’s position on an issue.
The policy does not apply to materials that discuss voting in general, the issues, Catholic voting responsibility, or Church teaching on public policy issues so long as the material does not mention a candidate or political party.
What is Allowed?


  • Addressing the moral and human dimensions of public issues
  • Urging parishioners to ask the candidates about the issues
  • Sharing the Church's teaching on human life, human rights, justice, peace, and political responsibility
  • Applying Catholic teaching to legislation and public issues
  • Encouraging parishioners to get out and vote
  • Taking a position on a ballot measure (with approval from the bishop through the North Dakota Catholic Conference.)
Involved but not partisan

Principled, but not ideological
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Exercise Caution

What is Not Allowed?

  • Supporting or opposing candidates for political office
  • Supporting or opposing political parties
  • Distributing "voter guides" that mention a candidate or political party
  • Providing a candidate with a list of parishioners
  • Inviting only selected candidates to address your church-sponsored group
  • Making church facilities available for partisan political purposes
  • Posting, sharing, liking, retweeting, etc. on social media posts that express an opinion, position, of a candidate for office or a political party
What We Do

The North Dakota Catholic Conference acts on behalf of the Roman Catholic bishops of North Dakota to respond to public policy issues of concern to the Catholic Church and to educate Catholics and the general public about Catholic social doctrine.
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Contact Us

North Dakota Catholic Conference
103 South Third Street, Suite 10
Bismarck, North Dakota
58501
1-888-419-1237
701-223-2519
Contact Us