CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 20 April 2019

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Get embroiled in politics pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS): “The Church is…not a political party,” but Catholics must get involved and “embroiled” in politics, said Pope Francis on April 30, because it is one of the “highest forms of charity” since it seeks the common good.

“Do I as a Catholic watch from my balcony?” the pope asked. “No, you can’t watch from the balcony. Get right in there!” 

During an audience with members of Italy’s Christian Life Community and the Student Missionary League the pope set aside his prepared text and instead took questions from the audience.

In answering one question, the pope said Christians have a duty to work for the common good in the world of politics, adding that does not mean forming a Catholic political party.

“That is not the way,” he admonished. “The Church is the community of Christians who adore the Father, follow the way of the Son and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is not a political party.” 

Fielding another query, Pope Francis acknowledged that being politically engaged isn’t easy, especially when there is so much corruption. “It’s a kind of martyrdom” he said, where one carries the cross of the ideal of the common good every day “without letting yourself be corrupted” or discouraged in the midst of failure.

He conceded that it is hard being the middle of it all “without getting your hands or heart a little dirty… but if you get your hands dirty, ask for forgiveness and keep going” and don’t get discouraged.

The pope said sometimes people think hope means having an easy, successful or comfortable life but said, “True hope is a gift of God, a present and one that never lets you down.” Doubts come when people try to do good but fail or witness so much brutality and suffering.

Pope Francis said, “Humility and service—these are the two things that hold small hope, the most humble virtue, but the one that gives life.”

 

The pope told a diocesan priest who is involved in formation programmes that the cure for the disease of indifference was touching “the wounds of the Lord in the poor of our time.”......

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