When I woke up this morning, I never thought I would get caught up in WikiLeaks drama.
Prominent commentators have used a stolen e-mail thread from political operatives in 2011 (while I was a 21-year-old college student) about my organization, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, in an attempt to impugn both my integrity and my organization’s work.
So let’s set the record straight: every day, my colleagues and I work tirelessly to promote the social mission of Pope Francis and the Catholic Church in American politics, media, and culture.
Politics is messy. Lived faith is messy. So this work isn’t always easy. You’re bound to make everyone mad at least once.
I’ve been derided as a “radical right winger” and a “lapdog for liberals” by two different national commentators in a single month. To me, that’s a strong sign that I’m willing to go beyond stale partisan labels to promote my faith’s social mission in public life.
Many of my fellow Catholics disagree with some of my politics. And they should. That’s a sign of a healthy culture within the Church.
But I can say with strong conviction that I love my Catholic faith and the Church. Contrary to what others have said, my colleagues and I would never try to divide the Church against itself for political ends.
Judge me by the fruits. I’ve time and again challenged both Democrats and Republicans—often at some political cost—to be better stewards of the common good.
You can question my politics, but don’t ever question the sincerity of my faith or love of the Catholic Church.
The proof is in the pudding.
The only revolution I care about is bringing Pope Francis’s “revolution of tenderness” to American politics. And despite the efforts of some, I won’t quit in that noble effort.
Christopher Hale is the executive director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and the co-founder of Millennial. A columnist for TIME on faith and politics, he and his work have appeared on CNN, MSNBC and FOX News, and in The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today among other publications. He helped lead national Catholic outreach for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.
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