In the fall, The Maryland Catholic Conference will sponsor a series of candidate-training workshops for Maryland Catholics considering involvement in electoral politics. We're looking for women and men who might consider elective office as a kind of ministry, an opportunity to merge an interest in politics with Gospel-driven, faith-illuminated values. We're also looking for Catholics who'd like to work for candidates who exhibit those values. Please consider joining us at one of the workshops.
In the past several years, Catholics who've been involved in our Legislative Advocacy Network have shared with us their interest in running for office. While many of them appear eminently qualified for elective public service, scarce few have campaign experience. Happily for us, persons with extensive, high-level experience in the two major parities offered their training services.
Training will be strictly non-partisan -- party affiliation doesn't matter. What does matter is that workshop participants abide Church teaching and see the connection between that teaching and the issues being considered in the debate of public-policy issues.
As I expect you know, we do not (we cannot) directly or indirectly endorse candidates for public office. And so we will insist that prospective candidates agree not to advertise their workshop involvement in any campaign materials.
This strikes me as a fabulous idea with the potential to go very, very wrong.