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 has the following aims:
Profile of the ICLN:
The ICLN is strictly non-partisan and fully independent and does not engage in lobbying or activism. It is a private initiative. Lawmakers, government representatives, clergy and experts are invited ad personam. Participation in ICLN events is by personal invitation only and 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 from the moment of conception until natural death, the true nature of sacramental marriage as the union between one man and one woman, and the commitment to defend the fundamental freedom of religion and conscience as the prime human right of every man and every woman on every continent. Here Christians are by far the most under threat, in fact the most persecuted religious group in the world according to the latest data. We expect and encourage legislators to promote justice, peace and the Common Good.
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 in political office. 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 active participation in such debates. We all need to be better informed on the facts, the science as well as the Church’s teaching. There is a need for mutual assistance between the Church, lay experts, and those in parliamentary public life to learn, 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, when held in Rome 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.
Starting in 2020, the ICLN organizes regular video conferences for legislators and experts from around the globe to remain updated on the latest developments and share ideas and best practices. The “ICLN Academy” was also launched, providing elected and appointed individuals in public office the possibility to participate in our permanent formation program through regular online courses as well as onsite courses on request covering a wide range of issues relevant for politicians.