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Bp. Francis Office of the Presiding Bishop
Ecumenical Catholic Communion

November 14, 2016

Grace and peace to all of you! I am aware of the shock and consternation that has fallen on many of us in the aftermath of our presidential election. Some of our families, even some of our parish communities, and certainly most of our civic communities experience bitter divisions. I wish to speak to this. It is our obligation in Christ to be peacemakers, to attempt to understand what is driving "the other." We need to listen to understand the pain and the hopes and the fears of one another, while assuming good faith. We listen so we can discover common ground on which we can build unity. This is the work of reconciliation, our life's work, God's eternal work. At the same time, I wish to speak to our call to be prophetic in this moment. We must not be naïve to the possibility of evil days ahead. Nor can we stand by passively in the face of racism, xenophobia, religious bigotry, sexism, and violence toward the earth; but rather we must resist in every way we can. While we pray for our civic leaders, we must not shrink from criticizing them when justice demands it. I encourage our parish communities to bond with other religious and civic organizations in your area to prepare appropriate responses should they be warranted.

I just finished gathering with the Governing Board of the National Council of Churches this evening to worship together with Mother Emmanuel AME congregation here in Charleston, SC. We remembered the victims of hatred on June 17, 2015, at their weekly bible study. Evil is real. Let us commit to understanding those we do not understand. And let us commit to resisting injustice when we see it

. Your brother, +Francis

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