“Ask a Priest: What If I Think a Leader Is the Antichrist?”

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Q: I am having a very difficult time accepting a certain horrible leader. I pray every day that he would be gone. What else can I do? To me he is the Antichrist. – R.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: When we look around the world, there are plenty of reasons for not putting too much faith in political leaders.

Leaders are human like everyone else, and sometimes their flaws are easy to spot.

Perhaps a few suggestions might help.

First, and this might be counter-intuitive, instead of praying for a leader to be gone (which can take a while), try praying for the person. This isn’t a novel idea.

For St. Paul exhorted, “I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth” (1 Corinthians 2:2).

This was remarkable advice, considering that many secular leaders of Paul’s day were not sympathetic to Christians.

Second, try to keep the picture in view. Christ is the king of the universe. Every other leader will come and go. The key thing is to work on promoting Christ’s Kingdom in the here and now.

You could do that by your prayer life, your sacramental life, by your works of charity.

Third, if the news is too depressing for you, think about limiting your exposure to it. One suggestion: Try to limit yourself to getting news from a newspaper or two.

Newspapers are nice because you can pick them up and read them at your own pace. In 5 or 10 minutes you can get an overview of what is happening in the world – and then you can leave the news behind until the next day. Try it. You might be surprised at how relaxed you feel the rest of the day.

Above all, keep your sights on Jesus. He didn’t come to support political parties or individual politicians. Maybe that is a good lesson for all of us to recall.

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