By Emily Drooby
The peaceful transition of power is a foundation of American Democracy. Wednesday’s events at the U.S. Capitol made this clear to Catholics from coast to coast: the country has to rediscover its values as one nation, under God.
Bishops across the country are speaking out, hoping to bring some kind of peace to the turmoil and a deeply divided nation.
“Please join me in praying for our Nation on this unprecedented day of national chaos, so that we can return to the rule of law,” wrote Brooklyn’s Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio.
As windows were broken and barricades busted, other bishops took to Twitter calling for unity, which may be hard to find.
“I join people of good will in condemning the violence today at the United States Capitol. This is not who we are as Americans,” wrote Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Other religious criticized those who took part in the chaos while carrying “Jesus saves” flags.
President-Elect Joe Biden, a practicing Catholic, spoke out for the second time on Jan. 7. While speaking, he called the rioters domestic terrorists and acknowledged his administration must do more to bring the country together.
“Yesterday in my view, one of the darkest days in the history of our nation,” he said, calling it “an unprecedented assault on our democracy.”
In the heart of Washington D.C., Cardinal Wilton Gregory called from a moment of silence in the midst of all the noise.
“Together, we must intentionally pause and pray for peace in this critical moment,” he wrote. “The divisive tone that has recently so dominated our national conversations must change.”
Neither a Vatican spokesperson nor Pope Francis has spoken out directly yet about the unrest. However, the Vatican newspaper ran a large headline of their front page, titled “Washington: Democracy Wounded.” They described what occurred as an “assault on Congress.”