Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of the Archdiocese of San Francisco told Fox News Digital in an exclusive interview that properly educating Catholics and organizing around critical social issues is the only way for the Catholic Church to make headway back into the modern cultural arena.

“In our own Catholic Church, we’re in a struggle about living our faith in a world that’s become very secularized — but secularized not in the sense of apart from religion, but with a value system that’s hostile to some basic values that we have,” the archbishop said. “How do we live our faith with integrity?”

….The Catholic Church’s social power has been on the decline for decades. Compared to many other religious voting blocs, such as the Evangelical and Mormon communities, Catholics have been unable or unwilling to meaningfully organize for political goals.

The reason for the lackluster solidarity is apparent, he suggested. Catholic voters across the country cannot find meaningful consensus with each other, even on dogmatic proscriptions.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, an authoritative reference for Catholic doctrine, “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.”

A May 2022 Pew Research study found 53% of surveyed U.S. Catholics believed abortion should be legal in all or most cases. By contrast, only 42% of Catholic respondents believed abortion should be illegal in most or all cases.

These results shifted drastically — but not entirely — when Pew accounted for regular worship; 68% of Catholics who attend weekly mass believed abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, compared to 30% who believed it should be legal.

“We have a high percentage of Catholics on paper, but we haven’t done a very good job of forming our people well in the faith and helping them understand the faith and love it and live it out,” Cordileone told Fox News Digital. “Unfortunately, there are a lot of Catholics who don’t really follow everything our church teaches because they probably were never taught what it really does teach and the wisdom that’s underlying it.”

He continued, “So their lives aren’t informed by the faith. Even though they identify as Catholic, the way they live their life, their priorities, their instincts — even to some extent, perhaps, their values — are influenced more by the secular society than their Catholic faith. And I think that has caused a weakening in terms of the social influence that the church should have and trying to contribute to the common good.”

….For Catholics unable to find political representation or candidates that adhere properly to their ethics, the archbishop suggests they seek offices themselves.

“It’s the role of the laypeople to be participating in the political process,” Cordileone said. “So run for office — run for local school board, their city council — and work up the system.”

Perhaps most important, Cordileone believes, is raising faithful children “so that they can be well-formed, intellectually-rooted and able to pursue a career of community service or even in politics — to be the force that changes the culture by their own participation.”

From Fox News