USCCB President Says the Gospel Serves the Common Good, Not Political Agendas

October 14, 2016 By Public Affairs Office

A statement from Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz ofLouisville, Kentucky

President of the United States Conference ofCatholic Bishops

WASHINGTON—At this important time in our nation's history, Iencourage all of us to take a moment to reflect on one ofthe founding principles of our republic – the freedom of religion. It ensures theright of faith communities to preserve the integrity of their beliefs andproper self-governance.  There have been recent reports that some mayhave sought to interfere in the internal life of the Church for short-term politicalgain. If true, this is troubling bothfor the well-being of faith communities and the good of our country.

In our faith and our Church, Christ has given us a preciousgift. As Catholics, we hold onto ourbeliefs because they come to us from Jesus, not a consensus forged bycontemporary norms. The Gospel isoffered for all people for all times. Itinvites us to love our neighbor and live in peace with one another.  For this reason, the truth of Christ is neveroutdated or inaccessible. The Gospel serves the common good, not politicalagendas.

Iencourage my fellow Catholic brothers and sisters, and all people of good will,to be good stewards of the precious rights we have inherited as citizens of thiscountry. We also expect public officials to respect the rights of people tolive their faith without interference from the state. When faith communitieslose this right, the very idea of what it means to be an American is lost.

Politicians,their staffs and volunteers should reflect our best aspirations as citizens.  Too much of our current political discoursehas demeaned women and marginalized people of faith. This must change.  True to the best hopes of our foundingfathers, we are confident that we can and will do better as a nation.

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Keywords:USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, religiousfreedom, public square, political discourse, public officials, faithcommunities, Gospel

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