Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., has issued the following statement in response to yesterday’s violence in the United States Capitol:
As I watched the appalling chaos in the U.S. Capitol yesterday, I witnessed an icon of democracy occupied and hostage to mob rule. The procession of violent images was deeply troubling. Particularly disheartening is that this event unfolded amid a deadly pandemic, a terrible plague that our troubled nation should face in solidarity.
The events of yesterday are a graphic exposure of the deep and advancing polarization in American society that has festered for years. This divisiveness disregards faith, justice and the rule of law. As shocking as it may be to glimpse how disordered our nation has become, the terrible truth is that we are not immune from further moral and social decay.
If we wish to claim it, Catholics have a legacy that is crucial to the healing of the nation. Our faith includes a commitment to mutual respect, dialogue, and the principles on which our democracy is based. We must come together as one nation under God, who loves and bestows dignity on all. The person with whom you may vehemently disagree is also a beloved child of God. For two millennia, our community has tried to live the teachings of Jesus. We are at our best when we put others first, with the common good as our guiding star.
Let us join with all people of good will in a choice for peace during this arduous time. We pray for our Savior’s protection and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, Prince of Peace, teach us the way forward. Our Lady of the Americas, pray for us.