So often over the last several years, the world—and the United States, in particular—has struggled with the debate over the importance of ethics in governmental leadership. Although the current challenges facing the safety and welfare of our globe seem to override this issue, I would suggest that our current situation renders this debate even more important than in the days preceding September 11, 2001.
Given the complex nature of governance in perilous times such as these, our situation places moral leadership on a whole new level of importance. If there has ever been a need for men and women of character to lead us in ethically responsible actions, it is now. If there has ever been a time in which raw emotion and human instinct must be tempered by wisdom and moral restraint, it is today.
History is rich with examples of morally concerned men and women plotting a careful path through eras of uncertainty and doubt. Without the prayerful, ethical leadership of the Founding Fathers, the American Revolution might have taken a drastically different course. Without the strong anti-fascist stance of many early-twentieth-century leaders, the trying times of World War II might have broken the resolve of many embattled nations.
Other than voting wisely, then, what course of action is left to believers who understand this need for moral leadership and desire to see it fulfilled, both for the good of their country and the glory of God? The instrument of prayer continues to be our most important resource in times such as these. As committed citizens and concerned believers, let us join together in earnest prayer for the men and women who will lead us through the treacherous times we now face. Let us pray that God will grant them heartfelt sensitivity to the ethical principles that will lead our world to peaceful and prosperous times. Let us pray that the light of freedom and morality will guide us through these uncertain times, as it has for generations of men and women before us.
Fr. Robert A. Sirico