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Election 2016 – What now?

Publish Date: November 10, 2016

By Bishop Greg Kelly

The results of the presidential election have raised a lot of uncertainty and anxiety about the future and about how the outcome will affect the ministry and life of the Catholic Church in the United States and in the Diocese of Dallas.

The important thing to remember is that it does not change our mission.

It does not change the gospel of Jesus or his call to us to come and follow him-- to live our Catholic faith: to preach the gospel, and to care for one another, especially the most vulnerable. Matthew 25: 31-45 has not been deleted or rewritten so as to exclude anyone.

The corporal works of mercy-- to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, etc.-- are still what we are called to do. We are still called to uphold the dignity of each person and to attend to the most vulnerable in our midst, especially the unborn, the immigrant and refugee, the elderly, the poor, the excluded, those whom Pope Francis has so often referred to as the ones society throws away.

Paul also reminds Timothy (1 Tm. 2: 1-2) that we should pray for our civil leaders. He says: “I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity." We can also speak and act towards each person as a brother or sister with the respect they deserve, even if we disagree with them on serious issues.

The proclamation of the gospel is not served by a lack of courage in standing up for the truth; neither is it served by a lack of charity. Ultimately, we will be judged not on how others act towards us, but on how we act towards them. The gospel gives us clear guidance on this: “As often as you did it to one of these least ones, you did it to me" (Matthew 25:40).

Let us always pray for peace and understanding in our country and in our world.