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Washington State Bishops pen Pastoral Letter on Civility in Politics

The bishops of Washington state have issued a pastoral letter urging Catholics to practice civility in their political life called Love One Another: Practicing Civility for the Common Good.

The bishops are concerned: “Our country’s political discourse has become much less civil over the last several decades, to the point where there is a near paralysis in our federal government and, too often, at the state and local levels.”

In response to this ongoing coarsening of political conversations in our country, the bishops of Washington reminded Catholics of the words from the Second Vatican Council: “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.” (Gaudium et Spes, no. 28)

The letter encourages Catholics to take part in the national Civilize It campaign of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Civilize It campaign encourages Catholics to take part in politics in a way the respects the dignity of others and seeks to advance the common good.


For those Catholics who are interested in joining this campaign, the Civilize It pledge is printed here.


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 www.wearesaltandlight.org/civilize-it.