This is a fraught moment. Watching helplessly as our neighbours tick down to an electoral time bomb, it’s a time for reflection and moral guidance. For many, it’s a moment for prayer.
Despite sharply restricted appearances during the pandemic, Pope Francis has managed to command sustained media attention in the lead-up to the U.S. election. Without explicitly weighing in on the candidates, he has chastised policies of division and aggressive nationalism, reminding leaders — and voters — of the people whom politics are intended to serve. His guidance is both a beacon and a balm, steering us toward a culture of co-operation and dialogue, and soothing the strain of endless polarization.
I should disclaim I am not Catholic. According to family lore, there was an intergenerational battle over my unbaptized soul, which my grandmother lost. As a student of history, I learned about a papacy defined by centuries of corruption and avarice, with popes who spent lavishly, murdered rival cardinals and stole their property, and one who put the corpse of his predecessor on trial.