How bad has the great political divide gotten? Bad enough that we need to call in God to referee!

In a news release, the Catholic Church shares that it is calling for civility.

The Catholic Bishops of Washington state released a pastoral statement today calling on all Washingtonians to work toward healing our political divisions. The Bishops point out that civility is everyone’s responsibility,

“We must learn again how to work with people who hold different political positions and keep the pressing priorities paramount,” said Archbishop Paul D. Etienne.“We cannot let disagreements derail our efforts for the common good."

The Church urges all Catholics, including those seeking public office, participation in political parties or other groups to be influenced by faith, not the other way around.

The Second Vatican Council confirmed, “the people who come together in the political community are many and diverse, and they have every right to prefer divergent solutions. Especially for us as Catholic Christians, we need to heed God’s call to be missionary disciples of Jesus. We need to follow his example.

“Respect and love ought to be extended also to those who think or act differently than we do in social, political and even religious matters. In fact, the more deeply we come to understand their ways of thinking through such courtesy and love, the more easily will we be able to enter into dialogue with them.”

To that end this pledge is the recommended course of action.

I PLEDGE:1. Civility –To recognize the human dignity of those with whom I disagree, treat others with respect, and rise above attacks when directed at me.

2. Clarity – To root my political viewpoints in the Gospel and a well-formed conscience, which involves prayer, conversation, study and listening. I will stand up for my convictions and speak out when I witness language that disparages others' dignity, while also listening and seeking to understand others’ experiences.

3. Compassion – To encounter others with a tone and posture which affirms that I honor the dignity of others and invites others to do the same. I will presume others’ best intentions and listen to their stories with empathy. I will strive to understand before seeking to be understood.

For resources to help you share the Civilize It pledge with your family, friends and parish, visit https://www.wearesaltandlight.org/civilize-it.