What Makes a Politician ‘Catholic’?

What Makes a Politician ‘Catholic’? March 5, 2019

The pope has some ideas: 

What makes a politician “Catholic” is not party affiliation, but dedication to promoting the common good, particularly through listening to and empowering people who often are overlooked, Pope Francis said.

“I invite you to live your faith with great freedom, never believing that there exists only one form of political commitment for Catholics, a Catholic party,” the pope said March 4 during a meeting with 26 young Latin America leaders attending a course on politics and the social teaching of the church. The course was supported by the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.

Francis told the young adults that politics in Latin America needs “a new presence of Catholics,” meaning not just “new faces in the electoral campaigns, but mainly new methods that are simultaneously critical and constructive.”

A Catholic politician, he said, always looks for “the possible good, even if it is modest.”

Quoting St. Paul VI, Francis told the young leaders, “In concrete situations, and taking account of solidarity in each person’s life, one must recognize a legitimate variety of possible options. The same Christian faith can lead to different commitments.”

For that reason, he said, Catholic politicians will join different parties and will work with people of other faiths in pursuing the common good.

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