Some Great Expectations from Fr Brian Cavanaugh, TOR at the Franciscan University of Stubenville regarding Catholic participating in the political process.
This means that Catholic leaders in today's society must properly equip themselves to learn all the necessary skills to be competent in the arena of public affairs, i.e., rhetoric, debate, economics, civility and law, to name just a few. As well, they are to be enlightened through the teachings of Christian doctrine and faith. Simply put, Catholic leaders are to become competent and capable with all the tools necessary to perform their tasks in a qualified manner.
Jesus, likewise, prepares his disciples for the trials of ministry when he tells them, "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves" ( Matthew 10:16 [NIV]).
You've got to admire that advice. To "be as shrewd as" means you need to recognize all the skills and the wiles involved in the public arena; yet, enlightened with faith and Christian doctrine, you need to remain civil and calm in the discourse of public affairs.
Thank you, Father! Most especially for that last line. That's just a snippet of his long article complete with a lot of references. Check it out when you have the chance here