“A polarized Church. A divided nation. Pope Francis calls for “a better kind of politics.” How will you respond?” -Civilize It


On September 22, 2021, the Diocese of Gaylord announced its support of a new initiative of the National Council of Catholic Bishops Justice, Peace & Human Development Office called “Civilize It: A Better Kind Of Politics.” Unfortunately, it is heavy on fluff and extremely light on substance.

The inspiration for this is Pope Francis’ writing (encyclical), Fratelli Tutti. The initiative includes taking a pledge to “commit to seeking the truth, building bridges, and finding solutions together that promote the common good.”  The link to the website includes an opportunity to take a pledge as well as download promotional materials.

Participants are encouraged to gather input from parishioners as they answer the following questions:

  1. Why are you committing to build A Better Kind of Politics that overcomes division, promotes encounters with our neighbors, and seeks the truth?
  2. What is one concrete step you will take to engage in dialogue that honors our shared human dignity and creatively promotes the common good?

Included in the website are prayers and other materials filled with worn out feel good words and cliches, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • “We are called to overcome division, promote encounters with our neighbors, and seek the truth.
  • Pledging charity, clarity, and creativity to promote the common good.
  • Entering into a dialogue that seeks the truth across perspectives.”

Missing in all this is a call to repentance, sacramental life, and personal holiness. What is the cost of such an initiative? Why is there polarization in society?

The initiative claims that “We can listen to understand. We can seek the truth together. We can jointly come up with creative solutions to the problems that face our world.” But does this include Bishop Hurley when members of the Diocese have concerns? Does it include the priests of the Diocese when a parishioner has a significant problem with COVID-19 vaccines and desires help from clergy?

Are there better “initiatives”?  How about Eucharistic adoration, increased opportunities for daily Mass and confession? How about meeting with parishioners when they have concerns regarding the faith?  How about teaching the faith?