(Vatican Radio) Following national elections in the United States, the President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, said elections “assist a country, a nation, in seeking, within their own area, the common good, the good of the human person, a good that respects the dignity of every human person.”
In an interview with Vatican Radio Archbishop Kurtz recalled the message of Pope Francis during the Holy Father’s Apostolic Voyage to America in 2015. The Pope, he said, re-iterated the importance of “engagement and involvement in the political process.” Although the Church does not endorse particular candidates, Archbishop Kurtz said, “we seek the common good, and we bring to bear our Catholic social teaching, and the principles that mark a direction that promotes the common good.”
And so, Archbishop Kurtz said, “this morning, now that the election is completed, we are, of course, eager to be able to welcome our new President, and all the new elected officials.” He continued, “We’ll be eager to work closely with President Trump, as well as both houses of Congress, as we seek to really promote the good of all.”
Listen to the full interview of Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, President of the USCCB, with Christopher Wells:
Archbishop Kurtz has also issued a formal statement via the USCCB website:
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville
President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
WASHINGTON, November 9, 2016 – The American people have made their decision on the next President of the United States, members of Congress as well as state and local officials. I congratulate Mr. Trump and everyone elected yesterday. Now is the moment to move toward the responsibility of governing for the common good of all citizens. Let us not see each other in the divisive light of Democrat or Republican or any other political party, but rather, let us see the face of Christ in our neighbors, especially the suffering or those with whom we may disagree.
We, as citizens and our elected representatives, would do well to remember the words of Pope Francis when he addressed the United States Congress last year, "all political activity must serve and promote the good of the human person and be based on respect for his or her dignity." Yesterday, millions of Americans who are struggling to find economic opportunity for their families voted to be heard. Our response should be simple: we hear you. The responsibility to help strengthen families belongs to each of us.
The Bishops Conference looks forward to working with President-elect Trump to protect human life from its most vulnerable beginning to its natural end. We will advocate for policies that offer opportunity to all people, of all faiths, in all walks of life. We are firm in our resolve that our brothers and sisters who are migrants and refugees can be humanely welcomed without sacrificing our security. We will call attention to the violent persecution threatening our fellow Christians and people of other faiths around the world, especially in the Middle East. And we will look for the new administration's commitment to domestic religious liberty, ensuring people of faith remain free to proclaim and shape our lives around the truth about man and woman, and the unique bond of marriage that they can form.
Every election brings a new beginning. Some may wonder whether the country can reconcile, work together and fulfill the promise of a more perfect union. Through the hope Christ offers, I believe God will give us the strength to heal and unite.
Let us pray for leaders in public life that they may rise to the responsibilities entrusted to them with grace and courage. And may all of us as Catholics help each other be faithful and joyful witnesses to the healing love of Jesus.