In the United States, toxic partisanship increasingly colors not only our choices at the ballot box but where we shop, what news we read and even how we see the state of the economy. On Pentecost Sunday, Pope Francis reminded Catholics that such political loyalties have no place in the Catholic Church. When Christians “take sides and form parties,” the pope said, “[we] become Christians of the ‘right’ or the ‘left,’ before being on the side of Jesus.”
That is why you do not see the phrases “liberal Catholic” or “conservative Catholic” in the pages of America. This is not because Catholics must be apolitical or centrists or should retreat from the public square. But the church, as our editor in chief wrote in these pages, is not a polis but a communion (“Pursuing the Truth in Love,” 6/3/2013). And in this communion, we are not Democrats or Republicans, liberals or conservatives, citizens or foreigners. We are rather disciples of the one who is truth, the one for whom justice and love are the only standards of human action.