We at the Diocese of Orange are dismayed and saddened by the shocking acts of violence and insurrection that occurred today within the U.S. Capitol — our country’s heart, both literal and symbolic, of democratic values and power. We find the actions committed, such as carrying a Confederate flag through the Capitol and the wearing of a Viking hat, reprehensible.

Now is the time for all Catholics to pray for the peaceful transitions that, clearly not without struggle, will occur this month within our revered institutions of democracy, namely the presidency and Congress. Amid these events and a pandemic that continues to strike hard at our everyday lives, our faith, resilience and reverence for peace must be as strong as ever.

Today, as we shudder to recall the events that will linger with us for some time, we should hearken back to the words of Archbishop John Carroll, whom Pope Pius VI named as America’s first bishop in 1789. Two years after his appointment, Archbishop Carroll created a prayer for what was then a newly formed, experimental government. Its guidance and wisdom remain relevant, especially on days like today.

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