At last week’s Democratic Party presidential debate in Milwaukee between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, I tried my best to represent the Catholic community and our most fundamental values.
While there, I had the privilege to talk to both candidates about the issues that are at the heart of Pope Francis’ agenda and that should truly matter to Catholic voters in the United States.
Inspired by the words of Cardinal Hummes to Pope Francis upon his election, I told both Hillary and Bernie that if either becomes President of the United States, they mustn’t forget about the excluded and they must put the needs of the poor first in their public service. This preferential option for the poor and vulnerable, which is rooted in our commitment to the common good and solidarity with all people, is what our faith is all about. Catholics are called to be a voice for those who are excluded and ignored, those cast aside by a culture of indifference. When given the opportunity to express these views, I did my best to share this message.
I’ll be bringing the same message to the Republican candidates at a GOP debate next month. I encourage Catholics from both parties and those who are independent to join me in lifting up these values. All candidates for public office should know: Catholics care about the poor and vulnerable, and we expect the same from those elected to public office.