Throughout the country today, ballots will be cast. Votes will be counted. With all of the mailed-in and absentee ballots, we may not know the results for days, but today marks an end of sorts: an end to the election cycle for the time being. And yet, the aftershocks of this seismic event will continue to rumble, the waves continue to ripple out from the point of impact for the next several weeks, months, even years.
Over the past few weeks, Fr. Justin Brophy, O.P., Assistant Professor of Political Science at Providence College, has been exploring ideas around Catholicism and politics as the world gears up for the 2020 election. He offers a deeper understanding of politics than the pundits on the 24-hour news channels could ever provide, as well as ways to approach the responsibility of political engagement from a distinctly Catholic perspective.
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We’ve considered some problems with our contemporary political discourse and made some suggestions about how a “Catholic political discourse” can improve the present situation. We are left to consider: At the end of the day, what can the Catholic truly expect from politics? The great American Catholic writer Walker Percy answers this question best by suggesting that humans both must learn to be at home in their homelessness and find some rootedness in imperfect communities.
After pointing out some of the shortcomings of our contemporary political discourse in the first installment of this series, we now do well to consider how the Catholic might provide a corrective.