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AMERICA / UNITED STATES – Against Polarization and Division: Enabling Individuals, Families and Communities to be Bridge Builders Through Perspectives

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AMERICA / UNITED STATES – Against Polarization and Division: Empowering Individuals, Families and Communities to Be Bridge Builders Through Perspectives

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Washington (Agenzia Fides) – The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) today launched a new initiative aimed at combating the polarization of society. Based on Pope Francis’ call in his encyclical Fratelli Tutti for “a better policy, truly at the service of the common good” (no. 154).
The new initiative, Civilize It: A Better Kind of Politics, calls on Catholics to respond to this invitation with charity, clarity and creativity.
The initiative, in which many dioceses from all over the country will participate locally, will contribute to evangelization efforts to shine the light of our faith in the often difficult field of politics, indicates the note sent to Agenzia Fides. On CivilizeIt.org, participants can engage and access accompanying materials, including a self-examination, short reflections, prayers, and a guide that will empower individuals, families and communities to be builders. of bridges across the outlook. Based on chapters 5 and 6 of Fratelli Tutti and on other reflections of the Holy Father, the material aims to help Catholics and other people of good will to cultivate a culture of encounter, to root perspectives in the truth, justice and solidarity, and to seek collaborative action for the common good.
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City and chair of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development reflected on the importance of the initiative today: “Civilize It: A Better Kind of Politics aims to equip Catholics with polarization in society which is sometimes also reflected in the Church. Such a division among the faithful compromises the ability of the Church to give effective witness to the life and dignity of the human person in the family, parish, workplace and political sphere. In Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis proposes another way forward based on evangelical values, justice and truth. My hope is that this initiative will help us all as we seek to “become neighbors of all”, as the Holy Father calls us to do, and to take up the challenges of encounter, of dialogue, of the search for truth. and creative problem solving, so that all Catholics can work together for the common good. ”
The polarization of American society prompted the bishops, among others, to address the problem during the November 2020 session of their Assembly (see Fides, 11/19/2020), where among the most debated topics were also that of racism. in its various forms. “Civilize It: A Better Kind of Politics builds on an initiative of the same name implemented during the 2019-2020 election season that aimed to help Catholics shape love of neighbor by honoring human dignity through ‘a civil conversation.
More information about the initiative can be found at CivilizeIt.org. (EC) (Agenzia Fides, 9/9/2021)


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