Since 1796, when John Adams succeeded George Washington as President, a founding principle of our great nation has been the orderly transfer of power, as an expression of the will of the people. The notion of a democracy relies upon this.
As hard-fought as many of our elections have been, our nation has always succeeded historically in coming together in a mature and civil manner, for the benefit of all, for the good of all of the people. No matter the outcome, we have united – in word and in deed – as one nation.
This year’s contentious and unsettling presidential race threatens our ability to come together as one people. The claims by some of our fellow citizens that they will not accept the final outcome of the election borders on the seditious, portending a future that would be neither civil, nor true to our common roots as Americans. We cannot do this. It is not who we are, not who we are called to be.
I ask Catholics and all people of good will to come together on November 8th and 9th and on all of the days that follow to continue to forge one nation, subject to the rule of law and to unite as one American people, committed to the common good of these United States, with its government “of the people, by the people and for the people” (Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address).
May God bless you all and may all of our people come together as “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”
With every best wish and kind regard, I remain,
Patrick J. McGrath
Bishop of San Jose