Toledo area women religious unite on statement of civil discourse

In his address to the U.S. Congress last September, Pope Francis invited members of Congress to promote respect for the dignity of every human person and to renew their commitment to a spirit of cooperation. He also addressed each of us and all who seek to lead this nation when he said,

Each son or daughter of a given country has a mission, a personal and social responsibility You are called to defend and preserve the dignity of your fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good, for this is the chief aim of all politics. Building a future of freedom requires love of the common good and cooperation in a spirit of subsidiarity and solidarity. (September 24, 2015)

The need for courageous leaders has never been greater. We simply ask that all refrain from language that disrespects, dehumanizes, or demonizes another. All are created in God’s image and are worthy of respect. We ask that all who seek to influence public opinion, all who hope to serve this nation as leaders, be always mindful of the common good and respect of the dignity of each and every person.

The problem is not our many disagreements. It is how those conflicts are handled that spells the difference between building the common good and destroying the bonds that bind this nation together.

We call for a return of civility in our discourse and decency in our political interaction that promotes the common good, reaches out to others, engages in constructive dialogue and seeks together the way forward. We hope for political dialogue that reflects the principles and values upon which this nation was founded.

As Sisters of Notre Dame, as Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania, as Sisters of St. Francis of Tiffin and as Ursuline Sisters, we ask everyone to join us. Let us engage in careful listening and honest questioning. Let us honor the dignity of those with whom we disagree and treat them with the respect that is their God-given right. Let us seek the common good, desire only good for all others, and offer our own truth with equal measures of conviction and humility.

Respectfully,

Sister Mary Delores Gatliff, Sisters of Notre Dame;

Sister Mary Jon Wagner, Sisters of St. Francis, Sylvania; Sister Sara Aldridge,

Sisters of St. Francis, Tiffin; and Sister Sandra Sherman, Ursuline Sisters of Toledo