Bishop Burbidge urges elected officials to ‘reflect the unity for which we long’

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Arlington Bishop Michael F. Burbidge celebrated Mass and led a Eucharistic procession at St.Mary Church in Alexandria June 18 to bring "Jesus, the source of our unity and peace, into the streets” recently touched by violence. 

The Mass was celebrated on the feast of Corpus Christi, just days after a shooting at an Alexandria ballpark in which Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., and others were injured while practicing for a charity baseball game between Republican and Democratic lawmakers.

In his homily, the bishop said that the 7-block procession from Saint Mary Church to St. Mary’s Cemetery was a witness to the world that “we do not walk through this life alone.” He reminded parishioners that unity depends on recognizing the dignity of each and every person by listening to others, discussing points of disagreement in a civil manner and letting go of bitterness. 

The bishop urged elected officials to take the lead in working for that unity.

“Today, with the faithful in the Diocese of Arlington and all people of good will, I respectfully make a plea to all our elected officials to reflect the unity for which we long,” Bishop Burbidge said. “We need you to work together for the common good; to uphold truth, peace and justice; to find common ground; to be respectful of each other even in the midst of debate; and to let go of harsh words and severe rhetoric. We also hope and pray that all in the media will do the same. Imagine how different the world and our nation would be if our motto was the words of St. Paul: ‘Let us make our aim to work for peace and to strengthen one another.’ ”

 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017

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