The Catholic Spirit: MCC’s Adkins: With the election over, Catholics need to roll up their sleeves

Donald Trump’s win of the presidency and the Republican party gaining a majority in Congress stunned the U.S. in a historic election Nov. 8.

In Minnesota, Republicans grabbed a majority from the Democrats in both legislative chambers.

The changed political landscape doesn’t alter the mission for Catholics in politics, said Jason Adkins, executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference. A St. Paul-based organization, MCC is the public policy voice of the state’s Catholic bishops and works to further the common good in Minnesota and beyond.

Adkins spoke with The Catholic Spirit Nov. 9 about what this year’s election results mean for Catholics. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Jason Adkins, executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference, stands on the steps of the Minnesota Capitol in a Catholic Spirit file photo. Dianne Towalski / The Catholic Spirit

Q. You’ve spoken a lot before the election about the idea of “political homelessness,” [the idea that Catholics in both major political parties feel uncomfortable, because neither party has a platform that aligns well with Catholic social teaching]. Did that seem to resonate among Catholics you spoke with as the election approached?

A. I think it did. The people were not crazy about either one of these major presidential party candidates. They were not particularly excited about the state of the political parties and what’s being offered as choices.

The difficulty with that is, if you’re only given a narrow set of choices, it’s hard to get out of that box. Even if Catholics are politically homeless, where is the home that is being offered?

The hope is that the parties will say, “Gee, we need to be looking at how we’re serving all Americans. Are we serving all Americans?”

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