US bishops issue calls for calm, unity amid anti-Trump protests

The Catholic bishops of the United States have called for calm amid ongoing, sometimes violent, protests against the victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential race.

With no sign of a halt to mass demonstrations in cities across the country, bishops have begun to issue individual messages appealing for citizens to pull back from disunity at the electoral outcome.

“The answer is not angry words or violence in the streets,” said Archbishop José  H. Gomez of Los Angeles. “It never solves anything. It only inflames it more. We need to be people of peace, people of compassion. Love not hate. Mercy not revenge. These are the tools to rebuild our nation and renew the American dream.”


Bishop Michael Burbidge of Raleigh, North Carolina, meanwhile, sought to remind all Americans of the roots of their unity as a nation.

“Regardless of who received our vote, now is the time to be reminded that the strength of our republic lies in our unity as fellow citizens and members of God’s holy family,” he said in a statement. “Such relationships are the bedrock of our society and it is our sacred duty to foster them so that nothing divides us. When we live in such harmony, there will be true dialogue, and the exchange of ideas will occur in a civil and respectful manner.”

The bishops’ appeals add to ‘Coming Together as Faithful Citizens for the Common Good’, the message issued on November 9 by outgoing president of the US bishops’ conference Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz on behalf of the conference in response to the election of Mr Trump. 

While re-stating those pledges to which the bishops would hold Mr Trump and laying out the issues they hope to work with him on, the message reflects the ongoing mood of disunity in America when it states: “Every election brings a new beginning. Some may wonder whether the country can reconcile, work together and fulfil the promise of a more perfect union. Through the hope Christ offers, I believe God will give us the strength to heal and unite.”