I feel somewhat awkward as an Englishman writing to you about the election. Also, given the timeline of the production of this bulletin by the printers, I am writing before the event has actually taken place! Furthermore, I am constrained as a pastor by law to make any public remarks which could influence voting [as if I could!]
But it needs to be said that after such a contentious election campaign and by two of the least liked candidates – both of whom revealed deep character flaws (this is not only my assessment but a pretty universally held position) – we need to know how we can unify this nation. I fear great fault lines have opened up, the distance between opposing camps has widened to the point of an inability to enter dialogue or be reasonable with each other. Both parties need to look at their selection processes, their policy development and manifestos…and how to shorten what has become a wearisome 18+ months of bitter campaigning, rhetoric and vulgar nastiness, plain and simple.
Healing needs to take place. Whoever is the President of this great nation must govern for all and unite the country. We as citizens, and in my case as a resident alien, must work hard to rediscover the basic identity of our nation by remembering and realizing the first word in the name of this truly great nation the UNITED States of America, which I have come to greatly admire in my first year with you all. Grudges, resentments, shaking our heads in disgust that our candidate/party did not win and digging our heels in will not be the way forward. Let’s move on and be good and faithful citizens [as laid out by the US Bishops in last week’s bulletin insert] by applying those great virtues that we hold dear which help us build the Kingdom God when things are difficult; reconciliation, respect, realism, resolve for the good, hope and above all mercy. God bless America.
God bless you and the week ahead,
Fr. Aidan Peter, CJ