My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,
Last week, we went to the polls to elect a new President, as well as legislators and judges. This past week, the winning candidates began the process of transition from campaigning to governing.
President Obama and Secretary Clinton were gracious in their calls for us all to come together as a nation. As President Obama reminded us, “We are all on one team.”
The peaceful transition of power is one of the defining characteristics of our Nation. Yet, since the election, the protests and riots that have erupted not only in our own city, but also in other parts of the country, are deeply troubling.
The fears of some in our community must be acknowledged. Undocumented immigrants and the children of undocumented immigrants fear that they will be deported. The Trump slogan “Make America Great Again” has been adapted by some to become “Make America White Again.” Consequently, many in the African-American community fear a rollback of the many advances made in recent years. Meanwhile, many of the anti-Trump protesters are proponents of anarchy, some even of violence and boldly waving socialist flags in the streets of our cities.
The campaign by both parties was divisive. However, now is the time to come together as one nation. In the United States of America, we elect a president, not a king. The power of the executive branch of our government is constrained equally by the legislative and judicial branches.
I share the concerns of the undocumented and pledge that the Church of Brooklyn and Queens will resist executive decisions that will divide or separate families. We in Brooklyn and Queens will also redouble our efforts to combat racism and nativism whenever it rears its dreadful voice.
On the other hand, we must be even more vocal in our support for the dignity and sanctity of all human life from its natural conception to its natural end. President-elect Trump has pledged to appoint justices to the courts that will strictly adhere to the Constitution of the United States.
As Catholics, we can be optimistic that this will mean that the most vulnerable, the unborn and the frail elderly, will have protections that uphold the dignity and sanctity of life. We also can be pleased at the prospect that the incoming administration will offer relief to those families that choose to send a child to a private or Catholic school.
It is true that our Nation has divisions and conflicts. Yet, as we put out into the deep, we must look to our Founding Fathers in an attempt to rebuild trust in our great Nation. As Americans, we can never leave anyone behind. We cannot be a great country if we forget the migrant in our midst, the marginalized, the unborn or the frail. We must look to our founding principles, where there is liberty and justice for all, so that we are all united as one.
During this time of transition, we pray that Almighty God may bless the United States of America.