November 15, 2016 // Uncategorized
Religious, lay leaders react to Trump win in presidential election
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Lay and religious leaders of all stripes reacted to news of Donald J. Trump’s upset win in the Nov. 8 presidential election. Most expressed hope that Trump would pay attention to their agenda, while others were more decidedly downbeat and still others counseled prayer.
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, outlined an ambitious agenda in a Nov. 9 postelection statement that congratulated Trump and all election victors.
“The bishops’ conference looks forward to working with President-elect Trump to protect human life from its most vulnerable beginning to its natural end. We will advocate for policies that offer opportunity to all people, of all faiths, in all walks of life,” Archbishop Kurtz said.
“We are firm in our resolve that our brothers and sisters who are migrants and refugees can be humanely welcomed without sacrificing our security. We will call attention to the violent persecution threatening our fellow Christians and people of other faiths around the world, especially in the Middle East. And we will look for the new administration’s commitment to domestic religious liberty, ensuring people of faith remain free to proclaim and shape our lives around the truth about man and woman, and the unique bond of marriage that they can form.”
Top Vatican official congratulates Trump, offers prayers
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Congratulating Donald Trump for his victory in the U.S. presidential election, the Vatican secretary of state expressed hope that people would work together “to change the global situation, which is a situation of serious laceration, serious conflict.” Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Pope Francis’ top aide, spoke about the election early Nov. 9 during a meeting at Rome’s Pontifical Lateran University. The Vatican then released a transcript of his remarks.
“First of all,” he said, “we respectfully must take note of the will expressed by the American people in this exercise of democracy that, they tell me, was characterized by a large turnout at the polls.”
“We send our best wishes to the new president that his administration may truly be fruitful,” the cardinal said. “And we also assure him of our prayers that the Lord would enlighten and sustain him in his service to his country naturally, but also in serving the wellbeing and peace of the world.” Cardinal Parolin was asked about the polemics that arose earlier in the year between Trump and Pope Francis over the question of immigration, especially concerning the U.S.-Mexico border.
Pope reportedly says he won’t judge Trump but will watch impact on poor
ROME (CNS) — The day before Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, Pope Francis said he would make no judgments about the candidate and was interested only in the impact his policies would have on the poor.
Eugenio Scalfari, co-founder and former editor of La Repubblica, an Italian daily, said he met with Pope Francis Nov. 7 and asked him what he thought of Trump. “I don’t give judgments about persons and politicians; I only want to understand what sufferings their way of proceeding will cause the poor and excluded,” the pope said, according to Scalfari.
The journalist has explained on more than one occasion that he does not take notes or record his conversations with the pope; he re-creates them afterward from memory, including the material he puts in quotation marks. Scalfari, in an article published Nov. 11, said Pope Francis said his greatest concern today is for refugees and immigrants.
Voters reject nearly all ballot measures on issues of Catholic concern
WASHINGTON (CNS) — In this year’s election, voters went against nearly all of the ballot initiatives backed by Catholic leaders and advocates, except the referendums on minimum wage increases and gun control measures.
Voters passed an assisted suicide measure in Colorado and voted in favor of the death penalty in three states and in favor of legalized recreational marijuana in four states and against it in one. They also voted for minimum wage increases and gun control measures in four states. In Colorado, the only state with an initiative to legalize assisted suicide, voters passed the measure, making the state the sixth in the nation with a so-called “right-to-die law” joining Washington, Oregon, California, Vermont and Montana.
“The decision the voters of Colorado have made to legalize physician-assisted suicide via the passage of Proposition 106 is a great travesty of compassion and choice for the sick, the poor, the elderly and our most vulnerable residents,” said Jenny Kraska, executive director of the Colorado Catholic Conference. “Killing, no matter what its motives, is never a private matter; it always impacts other people and has much wider implications,” she said in a Nov. 9 statement.
Catholics’ postelection to-do list: work for unity, healing
WASHINGTON (CNS) — All the distrust, vitriol and rancor stirred up during the 2016 presidential election campaign did not go away when votes were tallied.
The Nov. 8 election’s outcome, for many, only added more layers of frustration, anger and fear, prompting dozens of protests across the country.
Political leaders, including Hillary Clinton, President-elect Donald Trump and President Barack Obama, acknowledged the disunity and urged people after the election to try to work together.
Catholic leaders have been making similar pleas, not only for the nation, but also recognizing the division that exists among the church’s own members who split their vote — 45 percent for Clinton and 52 percent for Trump.
Four days before the election, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, CEO of the Knights of Columbus, told a Catholic group in Arlington, Va., that regardless of the election’s outcome, “our country will remain deeply divided and those divisions are, to a very real extent, also reflected within our own Catholic faith community.”
The question before Catholics, he said, is whether we will be “a source of unity and reconciliation, or whether we will be a cause of further division.”
That view also was expressed in a Nov. 9 editorial in the National Catholic Reporter newspaper describing the political climate as a “profound moment in our nation’s history and in our church’s history. … The question now is whether we have the courage and leadership to confront these hurts, work for justice and begin the healing process.”
Putting it even more succinctly was an Election Day tweet by Cardinal-designate Joseph W. Tobin of Indianapolis: “Whatever happens at the polls, God will reign. Our work begins tomorrow, building bridges and healing wounds.”
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said: “Every election brings a new beginning. Some may wonder whether the country can reconcile, work together and fulfill the promise of a more perfect union. Through the hope Christ offers, I believe God will give us the strength to heal and unite.”
Prayer After An Election
God of all nations,
Father of the human family,
we give You thanks for the freedom we exercise and the many blessings of democracy we enjoy
in these United States of America.
We ask for Your protection and guidance for all who devote themselves to the common good,
working for justice and peace at home and around the world.
We lift up all our duly elected leaders and public servants,
those who will serve us as president, as legislators and judges,
those in the military and law enforcement.
Heal us from our differences and unite us, O Lord, with a common purpose, dedication, and commitment to achieve liberty and justice in the years ahead for all people, and especially those who are most
vulnerable in our midst.
The “Prayer After an Election” by Cardinal Adam Maida, Archbishop of Detroit, is used with permission.
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