From the Office of the Metropolitan

Elections 2016

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Dear Clergy, Religious, and Faithful of the Archeparchy,

We are reminded that it is election season by advertising on television, radio, and roadside signs. The greater number of television ads tell us how close the election is at this point in time. The ads sometimes give the view of the record and the promises of the candidate, but mostly they attack the record and view of the opponent. The negative advertising is effective in lowering the esteem of the opponent. However, it can depress us to the point of not voting at all. Please let your voice be heard by voting this year.

The stakes for this presidential election are high. The next president will be able to select three or four of the United States Supreme Court justices. The majority of the Justices will determine the interpretation of abortion, same sex marriage, and the division of church and state. The decisions can limit the church’s efforts to provide services and may undercut the ability of the church follow the Gospel.

First, we are called to know what the Gospel and the Byzantine Catholic Church teaches. The Internet and other voting guides can help you to understand complicated proposals with consequences which are not clearly stated.
Second, we need to vote for candidates and proposals which protect and promote those values. There are a few which follow all the teachings of the Church. Most candidates support some and oppose other teachings. And some are very opposed to Gospel and Catholic values. We are called to choose candidates and support proposals which are closest to the teachings of the Church.

We cannot change the selection process for candidates for this election, but for next year consider becoming involved with the primary process. Only with the commitment of believers can we receive a better set of choices during the next election. From the history of our Churches in Eastern Europe, we have learned what can happen when the government strays from the teachings of Jesus.

For this year, we must remember the teachings of the Gospel and the Byzantine Catholic church when we choose to vote for candidates and proposals that will guide our cities, states and country for the future.

We are having a joyful and holy Pilgrimage during the Year of Mercy. The next edition will have photos and stories of the pilgrims. We are going to the audience with our Holy Father Francis as I send this message to you. You will be lifted in prayer this morning and during the other liturgies each day.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend William C. Skurla, D.D.
Metropolitan Archbishop of Pittsburgh