After receiving a multitude of angry messages from both ideological extremes, Bishop Donald Hying of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin, decided to respond. “It just led me to start reflecting on our unity in Christ and the fact that so much of our political division has spilled over into the Church,” he said.
Speaking on Relevant Radio® about a letter he wrote to his flock, Bishop Hying acknowledged that the polarization and division we see today is not a new phenomenon for the Church and the nation. But he describes the situation today as “louder, angrier, and a greater chasm” in need of immense healing.
In the letter, Bishop Hying says, “For us Christians, water is thicker than blood, for the communion we discover in the waters of Baptism is far deeper and significant than the ties of race, nation, political party, and even family. If we are bound together in Christ as His Mystical Body, then how can we keep tearing each other apart? We are brothers and sisters in Christ.”
Keeping that in mind, Bishop Hying says that we must not ignore injustices and evil, but we should keep personal attacks out of it and stick with the moral issues.
He offered some concrete steps for Catholics to take in this very necessary path towards unity:
“Let’s spend these months leading up to Easter in deeper prayer, penance, and almsgiving.
Instead of pointing accusatory fingers at others, let’s point one at ourselves.
How can I be more patient, kind, gentle, and compassionate to others, especially those I disagree with?
Get off social media and get in front of the Blessed Sacrament.
Stop watching so much news and start reading the Good News.
Spend the time on volunteer service to help the poor instead of writing angry emails.
Examine your conscience regarding the sins of calumny, rash judgment, violent anger, and malicious speech.
And then go to Confession.”
Each of us has a part to play in fostering unity. “We focus on those divisions, often, much more than we focus on what unites us. When we look at the magisterium, the scripture, the catechism, the deposit of revelation—those are the truths that unite us as Catholics in the Mystical Body of Christ. Within the union there is legitimate diversity, but it’s important to know what’s essential to the Church, what’s essential to our faith, and what are the things we can have legitimate differences on,” Bishop Hying explained on Morning Air®.
Listen to more from Bishop Hying:
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