What politics needs most

HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala - The Freeman

The immediate answer is to humanize and Christianize it. Politics all over the world has been at the mercy of man's baser passions for so long that it now screams to high heavens for its humanization and Christianization.

And this can only mean that it is in dire need of charity. It has to be guided by the requirements of charity, which should not be considered as some kind of drag or hindrance but rather as the perfection and fulfillment of politics. It just cannot be left alone, fully under the power of our passions, brute force and worldly forces.

In fact, it can and should be a massive way of sanctification of the people.

Politics ought to be pursued always in charity. It cannot be any other way, since charity is the mother of all virtues and good values. If we want justice, truth and fairness, charity has them all. If we want competence, order, discipline, etc., again charity has them. If we want objectivity, charity has it. And that's because charity covers all our needs.

Politics, as a human necessity and as a free act of man, is definitely subject to the moral law, and as such, should also have a proper spirituality to animate it. This is a truth of our faith that should never be lost in our mind, and much less, in our culture. The autonomy we enjoy in our politics is never to be taken to mean that God has nothing to do with it.

Politics just cannot be left to the raw forces of our human nature, which has the capability of detaching itself from its creator and his law. It just cannot be subject to the law of the jungle. Without God, politics would be left to our own ideologies, historico-cultural conditions, our own personal hunches of how things ought to be, etc.

The way politics is practiced today, we need nothing less than a revolution, a drastic, radical conversion of heart among our political leaders and the citizenry in general.

We need to redeem politics from being a devil's game and to recover its true lofty nature and character based on our innate dignity as human persons created in the image and likeness of God, and made children of his.

In many Church teachings, we are reminded that while the technical formation of politicians does not enter into the mission of the Church, the Church has the mission of giving "moral judgment also on things that pertain to the political order, when this is required by the fundament rights of the person and the salvation of souls…using only those means that conform to the Gospel and the good of all, according to the diversity of the times and situations" (Gaudium et Spes 76) Commenting on this part of the above-cited Church document, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI once said:

"The Church concentrates particularly on educating the disciples of Christ, so that, increasingly they will be witnesses of his presence everywhere. It is up to the laity to show concretely in personal and family life, in social, cultural and political life, that the faith enables one to read reality in a new and profound way and to transform it."

He batted for a unity of life, a consistency in peoples' behavior based on faith that would go together with hope and charity. In fact, he added that "Christian hope extends the limited horizon of man and points him to the true of loftiness of his being, to God, and that charity in truth is the most effective force to change the world."

He also said that the "Gospel is the guarantee of liberty and message of liberation; that the fundamental principles of the Social Doctrine of the Church, such as the dignity of the human person, subsidiarity and solidarity, are very timely and of value for the promotion of new ways of development at the service of every man and of all men."

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