Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Sep 7, 2021 / 13:30 pm
The U.S. bishops’ conference on Monday launched a new initiative to promote civility amid political polarization, appealing to Pope Francis’ 2020 encyclical Fratelli tutti.
“My hope is that this initiative will assist all of us as we seek to ‘become neighbors to all,’ as the Holy Father calls us to do, and take up the challenges of encounter, dialogue, truth-seeking, and creative problem-solving, in order that all Catholics can work together for the common good,” said Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City, chair of the U.S. bishops’ domestic justice and human development committee, on Monday.
The bishops’ new campaign “Civilize It: A Better Kind of Politics,” seeks to promote Catholic social teaching within evangelization efforts, equipping Catholics to respond to current political debates. It includes an examination of conscience, short reflections, prayers, and a guide for Catholics to be “bridgebuilders.” Materials can be found at the conference website CivilizeIt.org.
Catholics can take a pledge on the website for “charity,” “clarity,” and “creativity.” The pledge includes promises to practice charity, to form one’s conscience well and be open to dialogue, and to work with others on “creative” solutions for society. The campaign’s goal is to reach 5,000 such pledges.