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Religious, lay leaders react to Trump’s win

First slide

WASHINGTON — Lay and religious leaders, including Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, reacted to news of Donald J. Trump's upset win in the Nov. 8 presidential election.


Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. bishops' conference, outlined an ambitious agenda in a Nov. 9 post-election statement that congratulated Trump and all election victors.


"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," Archbishop Kurtz said.


"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."


Archbishop Kurtz added, "Now is the moment to move toward the responsibility of governing for the common good of all citizens. I believe God will give us the strength to heal and unite," he said, referring to a need to bridge the divides created in the country by such a contentious election.


After Trump clinched the Electoral College majority early Nov. 9, Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston tweeted, "Congratulations to President-elect Donald Trump. May God grant you good health, wisdom and courage during your presidency."


In a Nov. 9 statement, Bishop Burbidge said, “The democratic process in which we participated yesterday is one of our greatest blessings as a nation and the direct result of the precious gift of the freedom we have been given. We are now called to commend our new president and all other newly elected officials to God, that they may be guided by Our Lord as they prepare to take office and serve the common good of those entrusted to their care. 


“Regardless of who received our vote, now is the time to be reminded that the strength of our republic lies in our unity as fellow citizens and members of God’s holy family,” Bishop Burbidge said. “Such relationships are the bedrock of our society and it is our sacred duty to foster them so that nothing divides us. When we live in such harmony, there will be true dialogue and the exchange of ideas will occur in a civil and respectful manner.” 


Bishop Burbidge said that as Catholics, we are called to renew our commitments to bring our faith into the public arena and help shape public policies, especially with regard to the sacredness of human life at every moment; the dignity of each and every human person; the protection of religious freedom; the sanctity of marriage and family life; and the care of the poor and most needy in our midst.


“In this way, with God’s grace, we help to ensure that the next generation inherits a nation more civil, more ethical, and more devoted to achieving peace which is true and lasting,” he said.


"We are delighted that tonight's election results reflect America's pro-life consensus in the House, Senate and presidency. We applaud candidates that took a stand on the most critical human rights issue of today, abortion," said Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life.


"We congratulate President-elect Trump on his hard-fought win, as well Vice President-elect Pence, and our friends in Congress," Mancini added. "We look forward to working together to fulfill President-elect Trump's campaign promises to ensure pro-life Supreme Court justices, pro-life policies, and defunding America's primary abortion provider, Planned Parenthood."


Philippe Nassif, executive director of In Defense of Christians, urged Trump to "prioritize the protection of the ancient ethnic and religious minority communities of the Middle East, and a region in which these communities can coexist and thrive peacefully in their native lands" in a Nov. 9 statement. "The Christian values of tolerance and coexistence, and the innovations that these communities have contributed to their societies for so many centuries are essential for a stable and secure Middle East, which is in the national security interests of the United States and the world."




© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016