Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory’s statement on election: ‘Just as every ballot counts … so too does every person’

Published November 17, 2016  | En Español
Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory Photo By Michael Alexander

Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory
Photo By Michael Alexander

Any person who assumes the lofty responsibilities of government leadership needs and deserves our prayers and our support. To all of our newly elected public officials, I sincerely offer both. This has been a toxic election process and feelings on all sides remain intense. As people of faith we must pray that our nation can move into a moment of composure and renewal. While there are still a great many issues that continue to divide us, we must rely on our love for our country, our freedom, and our national wellbeing to be the glue that holds us together. As Christ’s Church we must work boldly and tirelessly to restore the Gospel message of peace, reconciliation, mercy and civility into our wounded public discourse.

The venomous campaign just concluded has seriously damaged our national tone and focus. The protests that have erupted across the country might well have occurred regardless of which party prevailed—only the signage and chants would have changed. Many people are angry and confused; even worse, many are fearful. These are not emotions any citizen expects to confront at the conclusion of a presidential election in the greatest nation in the world. Those who succeeded on November 8th are to be congratulated for having achieved a critical opportunity to move this land that we love forward. Those who fell short must not set aside their principles that affirm life and promote the dignity of all people; rather, they must assess how they might keep those dreams alive in the wake of political defeat. Both, however, must set aside their hateful rhetoric and realize the rising societal price of their partisanship.

The poor and the vulnerable, the immigrant and the unemployed, the weak and the needy rarely seem to be the forces that drive social change, yet they are the ones who suffer most in times of social turmoil. Before any person rejoices or laments too passionately the outcome of this election, let us recall that just as every ballot counts, the Gospel reminds us that so too does every person. May God bless our nation and give us the strength, wisdom and perseverance to heal and unite it.