A better kind of politics


Guest Column

In a recent statement titled, “Pursue What Leads to Peace: A Christian Response to Rising Threats of Political and Ideological Violence,” Archbishop Borys Gudziak of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia urged all Christians and people of good will to avoid political violence of any kind and instead to pursue peace through dialogue and justice. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued the statement in Arch­bishop Gudziak’s capacity as chairman of the USCCB’s Committee for Domestic Justice and Human Development. The June 18 statement comes during a presidential election cycle in which partisan speech has intensified, and in which negative sentiment, insults, fear, anger, and anxiety have become more prevalent, according to the USCCB.

The statement:

As Catholics, we take to heart Jesus’ invitation to follow the example of the Good Samaritan, who challenges us to “become neighbors to all” (no. 80). As a Church and a nation, we are polarized and divided. But, as Pope Francis writes in Fratelli Tutti, we can seek “a better kind of politics, one truly at the service of the common good” (no. 154). We can see ourselves as members of one family. We can seek to encounter and to grow. We can identify common values. We can listen to understand. We can seek the truth together. We can jointly come up with creative solutions to the problems that face our world.


Civilize It: A Better Kind of Politics is a response to Pope Francis’ invitation. Join us to model this “better kind of politics.” Take the pledge below to commit to seeking the truth, building bridges, and finding solutions together that promote the common good. Individuals, families, and communities can participate.

Taking the pledge is just the first step. Additional materials can help us as we reimagine our way of being in the world. Begin today by loving God through encounter with a neighbor as a sister or brother.



To affirm through my words and actions the dignity of every person, each made in God’s image. Even those with whom I disagree are made in his image.

To listen respectfully in order to understand experiences different from my own.


To engage in critical examination to ensure that my perspectives are rooted in truth, that my sources of information are unbiased, and that I do not open myself to manipulation by partisan interests.

To form my conscience through prayerful reflection, study of Scripture and Church teaching, and guidance from reputable experts.

To reflect on my own values and seek, with others, to identify shared values.

To be open to the process of dialogue that can require change of perspective — my own and others’ — in service to the inviolable dignity of all and the common good.


To be a bridge builder who participates in constructive dialogue based in shared values, a mutual exchange of gifts, and the humility to seek together the good.

To see differences in perspective as opportunities for creative tension, which can yield solutions for the common good.

To work with others to identify creative solutions rooted in our shared values.

Additional resources are available at usccb.org/civilizeit on the USCCB website.

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