Elections 2020 - #VotePax
Monday, October 12, 2020

"To Christians, the future does have a name, and its name is Hope. Feeling hopeful
does not mean to be optimistically naïve and ignore the tragedy humanity is facing.
Hope is the virtue of a heart that doesn’t lock itself into darkness, that doesn’t dwell
on the past, does not simply get by in the present, but is able to see a tomorrow.” 

~ Pope Francis

Greetings of peace!

I spoke this past weekend at Pax Christi Massachusetts' regional conference and I thought the theme they chose was particularly apt for these last three weeks leading up to Election Day: "Resilience & Hope in a Time of Chaos: Pax Christi Engaged".

Like Pope Francis writes in the quote at the top of this PSA, hope is not the same as being optimistically naïve or ignorant of the tragedies brought on by the crises we are living through today. Our history is at the root of our resilience. We belong to a movement that came to birth in the ashes and devastation of World War II, given life by two people who shaped from their grief and pain a commitment to nonviolence and peace. Our own section of Pax Christi here in the U.S. sprang to life during a period of intense chaos and upheaval because of the vision of a small group of Catholics who had been formed by the Sixties' movements for civil rights, farmworker rights, environmental protection and against the war in Viet Nam. And a generation ago, another small group of Pax Christi leaders embraced fully the need for our entire movement to commit to anti-racism, in the conviction that personal and systemic racism continues to perpetrate deep spiritual and social brokenness and endangers all of creation.

These days, I, like you, have to call on everything I have some days to resist the temptation to despair. When I venture in that direction, I remember that history to which we belong, and I draw strength in knowing that we have always been shaped by that hope that is born of the resurrection, of a God who is stronger than death. We share the gospel DNA of all those who have gone before us in this movement, that cloud of witnesses who embodied Jesus for us. Our hope, I think, is rooted in the soil of these 75 years of people striving to be the peace of Christi in the world. 

Let us carry that resiliency and hope with us to and through Election Day. I hope that the resources below will help you engage -- to pray, study and act -- this week and going forward with the goal being a radical "turning around," a metanoia, for our country, and indeed, our world. For more resources, we've set up a resource page on the website, "Elections 2020 - #VotePax", where you can find additional tools for prayer, study and action (with more to come over these next three weeks, so return regularly!).
In peace,

Johnny Zokovitch
Pax Christi USA Executive Director
A prayer for this election season
by Dianna Ortiz, OSU, Pax Christi USA Deputy Director
God, Promise Keeper of the new creation, in this election season guide us to be Gospel-informed voters, who stand on the side of justice and truth.

As a community of conscience, we recognize our shared responsibility in righting the wrongs that dishonor and dehumanize the dignity of the most vulnerable among us.

As a community of conscience, we acknowledge the harm that has been done to the environment and the urgency to work collectively to care for the Earth, our common home.

We see our country in turmoil—experiencing a time of chaos that not only impacts every person of this nation, but peoples from across the globe.

As individuals and a faith community, we recognize that we bear both a privilege and a burden to vote our conscience and to make choices that will and do affect the future of everyone.

As we ready ourselves to go to the polls this November, may our time of discernment be rooted in the teachings of our faith and our common life together.

May our faith guide us to vote for genuine servant leaders, who, like Jesus, will welcome the stranger, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the prisoner, embrace the sick and dying, and promote peace and nonviolence.

Send your Spirt to be with us as we cast votes for the common good and, regardless of the outcome of the elections, may we continue to work for a more just and sustainable world.

May we always stand on the side of justice and truth. Amen.

Statement of Principles for the 2020 Elections
Pax Christi USA presents this statement of principles with urgency in the context of the 2020 U.S. elections as a resource to inform the decisions that our members, partners, and all people of conscience will make. The leaders we choose will impact people in the United States and many others around the world. Therefore it is incumbent that we elect leaders with the values, character and integrity required to serve our communities. 

We envision this statement to be a living document, one open to the discernment and dialogue to which the future calls us. Its content has been shaped, first, by our deep trust in the gospel message of Jesus which reminds us that what is foundational to every decision we make is our responsibility to love God through loving our neighbor, both near and far, with a preferential option for those who are impoverished. Second, these priorities are shaped by the transformational principles of Catholic Social Teaching, designed to guide us in applying the gospel message to our common life together as one people, within and outside current borders. Pax Christi USA’s engagement in this election is thus guided by a spirituality of nonviolence, our history as peacemakers, and a commitment to work for that justice which affirms the dignity of all human beings, individually and collectively, and assures peace for all creation.

Practice your and protect others' voting rights
Pax Christi USA members, local groups, regions and partners have been involved with intense efforts over the past few months to insure and protect voting rights. For Election Day, make sure you have a plan to vote. You can use this toolkit which we have pulled together to help you plan how you will vote or to help protect others' voting rights by sharing with them information they need to cast their vote.