The International Catholic Legislators Network (ICLN) was founded in 2010 as an independent and non-partisan international initiative to bring together practicing Catholics and other Christians in elected office on a regular basis for faith formation, education and fellowship. The ICLN thus has the following aims:
- To act as an informal and non-partisan worldwide network of practicing Catholics and other Christians in elected office assisted by a select group of Church representatives and lay experts;
- To provide them with a platform to exchange information and ideas in order to deal effectively with the critical (moral, social and economical) issues of our time;
- To offer them spiritual guidance, fellowship and encouragement.
Profile of the ICLN:
The ICLN is strictly non-partisan and fully independent. It is a private initiative and therefore informal. Lawmakers, government representatives, clergy and experts are invited ad personam. Participation presupposes a visible Catholic or otherwise Christian profile that is reflected in the individual voting record and public statements, especially where it regards the sanctity of human life, the true nature of marriage and the family and the commitment to defend the fundamental freedom of religion and conscience as the prime human right of every man and woman on every continent. Here Christians are by far the most under threat.
Why the ICLN?
The religious/secular debate is of profound significance in modern society and politics. Issues of grave moral consequence are regularly debated and, in many cases legislated upon. This is particularly important for Christians. Pope Francis, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope St. John Paul II have repeatedly emphasized the need to recognize the relevance of Christian thinking to all moral questions arising for debate in these times.
The role of Catholic and other Christian legislators at national and international level is accompanied by their participation in such debates. We all need to be better informed on the science as well as the Church’s teaching. The wealth of knowledge and their practical application in both areas is enormous. There is a need for mutual assistance between the Church, lay experts, and those in parliamentary public life to debate and thereby be better informed about such issues. This will enable Christian legislators and government executives to be more effective and pro-active, thus contributing to the good of society.
What does the ICLN do?
The main event of the ICLN is its annual 4-day international conference held near Rome, Italy, concluded with a private audience with the Holy Father at the Vatican. The objective of this meeting is a process of information, private discussion, faith formation and friendship building. The annual event is organized to encourage, support and connect Catholic and other Christian lawmakers worldwide. Throughout the years, local ICLN Chapters have also been formed that organize regional meetings with the same objective of education and networking. All ICLN meetings are held in a strictly private setting and are thus not publicized, in order that those politicians and other leaders participating may freely debate and exchange their thoughts on the topics discussed. The Chatham House Rule applies to all meetings and no press is in attendance.