Civil, yet strong

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York this week invited the Republican and Democratic candidates for president and vice president to sign a petition seeking civil dialogue and to refrain from personal attacks in the two months remaining in the campaign leading up to the November election.

No word by our deadline whether any of the candidates had taken Cardinal Dolan up on the request. The online petition, signed thus far by more than 20,000 persons, is being conducted by the Knights of Columbus. It reads:

“We, the undersigned citizens of the United States of America, respectfully request that candidates, the media and other advocates and commentators involved in the public policy arena employ a more civil tone in public discourse on political and social issues, focusing on policies rather than on individual personalities. For our part, we pledge to make these principles our own.”

If you agree — and we hope you do — visit civilityinamerica.org and add your name. Facebook users can “like” the petition at Facebook.com/CivilityinAmerica.

But as our own Bishop Jenky pointed out again at an outdoor Mass in Peoria on Sunday (see related story, page 7), we’re living in a critical “time of testing” for Catholics in America. “Be we Democrat or Republican or Independent . . . may we and all our households always do whatever is necessary to faithfully serve the Lord,” said Bishop Jenky.

As the important issues affecting our church, nation and world are debated and our votes eventually cast, let our voices be civil, yet strong. — Thomas J. Dermody

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