Politics and the Church
A message from our Bishop in a time of great political division and unrest.
Pastoral Letter to the Clergy and People of the Diocese
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
May Jesus Christ be our true light in this time of pandemic and national division.
For the past several weeks, I have been deeply concerned with the health and
spiritual safety of our great country. I know that many of you share my concerns and are
struggling with how best to address the spiritually challenging issues confronting us.
Within the temporal world, a world so often controlled by the “principalities and the
powers” and infected by the machinations of the devil, the word of God seems lost. And
yet, it is precisely God's word that must be heard at times such as these.
We have been fortunate that few if any of our parishioners have been infected with
Covid-19. We have taken the necessary precautions. And we have prayed. Your
dedication to the physical safety of the precious souls entrusted to your care is a moving
testament to the quality of our clergy.
Though Covid-19 may represent a considerable physical danger, there are great
spiritual dangers as well. Our country is going through a time of moral and spiritual
division. It seems at times nearly impossible to discern the truth of events as they are
presented to us by individuals and institutions. The political situation is certainly as
mean spirited and divisive as I have ever seen it.
While it is hardly necessary for me to mention that clergy should remain above
the often vicious political battles, it is well for us to remember that such conflicts are
truly fleeting. Even so, parishioners may ask their clergyman about certain candidates;
they may wonder how we are voting and express their own anger and frustration at the
political situation. Though all citizens may certainly vote their consciences and fulfill
their civic duty, our best response is this: look to the word of God and the teachings of
the church. The church is above political parties and the divisiveness that pits people
against each other. Above all, the church seeks to bring unity in Christ Jesus. And
remember: the church of God transcends all temporal authority.
Recently, I asked a very faithful and dedicated priest what he might suggest we do
during this very strange time. Without hesitation, he suggested that we recite the Litany
during worship services. We remember that the Litany is one of the most ancient
liturgical texts. It has been used during times of difficulty. I encourage you to use it now.
Though the times may be difficult, we Christians know of the great joy we share
in the presence of Jesus Christ. That should be ever foremost in our minds.
Please know of my prayers for each of you.
Your Brother in Christ,