Catholics Must Strive to Unify Themselves . . . and Country!

carl andersonJust days before the election of Donald J. Trump as the next president of the United States, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson of the Knights of Columbus says Catholics must  seek ways to create unity and healing rather than contribute to an already divided nation – a message that is even more relevant now that a pro-life majority is in power.

The National Catholic Register (NCR) is reporting on a speech Anderson made in Arlington, Virginia while receiving an award from the Catholic Distance University.

“(T)he question we should ask ourselves is in what way Catholics in America can be a future source of unity and reconciliation or whether we will be a cause of further division and hostility,” Anderson said Nov. 5.

“The answer to that question will depend in large measure upon what it means today to be a Catholic in America. In other words, what is fundamental to our identity as Catholics?”

Anderson referenced the controversial emails involving Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta in which he and other “progressive” politicians were plotting on how to foster a “Catholic Spring” where the laity would revolt against the bishops and Church teaching. One of the email exchanges included John Halpin, a fellow at the Center for American Progress, who is himself a Catholic and who called conservatism among Catholics “an amazing bastardization of the faith.”

These conversations were even more egregious because they concerned Catholics who were disparaging other Catholics. But they also pose a serious challenge to Catholics, Anderson said.

“Regardless of the outcome of Tuesday’s election, our country will remain deeply divided and those divisions are, to a very real extent, also reflected within our own Catholic faith community.”

knights of columbus logoSo what’s the solution?

For starters, faithful Catholics must commit themselves to the full exercise of their responsibilities as citizens even at a time when many are disheartened and frustrated.

Even though Christian principles are being pushed further and further out of the mainstream, we need to “swim against the tide” and remain faithful to who we are in  Christ.

“Now is the time for more — not less — Catholic values in our electoral process. Now is the time for more — not less — Catholic values in our nation.”

Anderson went on to propose six areas where Catholicism in the U.S. can grow and promote unity.

At the top of the list is “the renewal of parish life as a true Eucharistic community,” with a greater appreciation for the Eucharist as the source and summit of unity, charity and Christian life.

Next is a “renewed evangelization of family life” which is “centered upon the calling of every Catholic family to be a domestic church, which, in solidarity with other families, would be a source of unity, charity and reconciliation.”

Catholics should also grow in their devotion to Mary as the patroness of the United States, seeing in her a model of “understanding our responsibilities toward our neighbors and for the common good as citizens.”

Also necessary is a “deeper understanding of those moral principles and issues that are non-negotiable for us as a faith community,” which leads to a deeper understanding and application of the Church’s social doctrine.

Anderson also called for a greater commitment to authentic Catholic education that forms the entire person at every academic level which is so important for the establishment of a Catholic identity.

Finally, the Church in the U.S. needs “a greater appreciation of the office of bishop as the source of unity for the local Church” and deeper communication among clergy, religious and laity.

Although these comments were made before the election of Mr. Trump as the 45th president of the United States, they are even more relevant now that the Christian population is facing a welcome reprieve from the oppressive policies of the former administration. This is a time of great grace from the Lord and by using these years to unify and strengthen ourselves we will, in turn, bring unity and strength to our nation.

Mary, Patroness of the United States, please pray for us!

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