“The LORD is a God of justice, who knows no favorites. Though not unduly partial toward the weak, Yet he hears the cry of the oppressed. The LORD is not deaf to the wail of the orphan, Nor to the widow when she pours out her complaint. The one who serves God willingly is heard; His petition reaches the heavens. The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; It does not rest till it reaches its goal, Nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds, Judges justly and affirms the right, And the LORD will not delay”
(Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18).
“some consider it delay”
because our vision is limited and our lives on earth brief. We will understand in eternity. Meanwhile, we journey in faith founded on God’s word and promises.
We included a more general guide for our political discernment a couple of weeks ago in all of our bulletins from the Catholic Conference of Illinois. We also distributed and left for the taking fairly detailed guides from the United States Bishops (
can also be found at the USCCB website), as we approach the many elections next month (remember there is more than one).
We should not expect Church leaders to give specific names or parties as we vote, not out of fear of tax status or respect, but because the Church has learned well, guided by the Holy Spirit, that the Mission of her shepherds (in imitation of Jesus) is to proclaim the Gospel faithfully and give a thorough and balanced guide in how to live it; but not to assume to itself the details of political governance in a pluralistic society. This should not be taken as timidity or uncertainty about the Gospel or the seriousness of political elections and political responsibilities and does not, of course, mean that lay members of the faithful should be timid about vigorous political debate (this is their realm and responsibility).
The Bishops have written and spoken repeatedly in affirmation of our Popes that human life and dignity and the common good of all are at the heart of our decisions for the future of our people (along with plenty of detail in what that means). The faithful can be harmed (and rightly offended) if the shepherds usurped the role of the laity and dictated every detail. It is the responsibility of the shepherds to preach the Gospel in its fullness apart from fear or favor. We pray the Holy Spirit will give each leader and member of the Church the wisdom and strength to carry out their responsibilities in the Body of Christ as we look always to the Lord; without whom we can do nothing.
In Christ, son of Mary,