PITTSBURGH (CNS) — Bishop David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh has asked every church in his diocese to be open for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament all day Nov. 7, so that people of faith can pray for the nation and the Nov 8 election.
“Let us pray that all people will vote in good conscience, seeking the common good and the dignity of all human persons, even when the choices before them seem neither good nor dignified. We must pray that, no matter what the results of the election, our people will work to build a civilization of love, hope and peace,” he wrote in an Oct. 27 letter to all pastors.
“Encourage your people to come before the Lord present in the Eucharist and ask for God to guide our nation and shape the consciences of its citizens. Pray for all of our political leaders, present and future, to support laws and promote programs that respect human life at every stage, promote peace among people and nations, care for God’s creation, preserve religious freedom and protect those who are the most poor and vulnerable,” Bishop Zubik wrote.
In his column in today’s issue of the Pittsburgh Catholic, he urges Catholics to “pray before you enter that voting booth.”
“A conscience rooted in true and open prayer will never let you down,” he writes. “Then vote as that Catholic conscience tells you. Vote in faith, hope and prayer this Tuesday. Vote as a faithful citizen.”
In the column he also talks about the flood of political ads this election season that he thinks “have helped to create an unprecedented level of distrust and division as Election Day approaches.”
“One side calls the other criminal; the other side declares many of the other’s supporters deplorable,” Bishop Zubik says. “We are going to need to go a long way to bring back any sense of unity, decency and harmony in our culture after Tuesday’s election, no matter the result.
As a bishop, he says, in this presidential year more than any other, he has heard on a daily basis that he should speak out, “telling the faithful why they cannot vote for Donald Trump, or why they cannot vote for Hillary Clinton.”
“The church never — this bishop never — will tell you which candidate to embrace or which lever to pull or which button to press or which checkmark to mark in Tuesday’s election,” he said in his “Bridging the Gap” column, which he headlined “I’m David Zubik and I approve this message,” a takeoff on all the campaign ads in which candidates proclaim their approval for the ads. “But the church — and this bishop — will tell you,” he continued, “that you must consider all the critiques and weigh them with a Catholic perception, a Catholic focus and a Catholic conscience.