RENDERING UNTO CAESAR: THE CATHOLIC POLITICAL VOCATION

I want to do three things with my time tonight. First, Father Rosica asked me to talk about some of the themes from my book, Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life. I’m happy to do that. Second, I want to talk about some of the lessons we can draw from the recent U.S. election. And third, I want to talk about the meaning of hope. As I begin, I need to mention a couple of caveats. Here’s the first caveat. Canada and the United States have a long and close friendship as neighbors. It’s so long and so close that Americans often forget that our histories, our political structures and the ways we look at the world are, in some respects, very different. Obviously I’ll be speaking tonight as an American, a Catholic and a bishop – though not necessarily in that order. Some of what I say may not be useful to a Canadian audience, especially those who aren’t Catholic. But I do believe that the heart of the Catholic political vocation remains the same for every believer in every country. The details of our political life change from nation to nation. But the mission of public Christian discipleship remains the same, because we all share the same baptism.