Pope Francis: Through virtue, political life can be a form of charity

Catholic News Agency | 5/2/2018 | Staff
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Vatican City, Dec 18, 2018 / 11:20 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis identified political virtues and vices in his 2019 peace message released Tuesday, offering examples from the “Beatitudes of a Politician.”

“If exercised with basic respect for the life, freedom and dignity of persons, political life can indeed become an outstanding form of charity,” Pope Francis wrote in his message for the 2019 World Day of Peace, released Dec. 18.

Pope - Leaders - Virtues - Activity - Justice

The pope encouraged international leaders to “practise those human virtues that sustain all sound political activity: justice, equality, mutual respect, sincerity, honesty, fidelity.”

“Blessed be the politician who personally exemplifies credibility. Blessed be the politician who works for the common good and not his or her own interest … Blessed be the politician who works for unity,” Francis said, quoting the late Vietnamese Cardinal François-Xavier Nguyễn Vãn Thuận’s “Beatitudes of a Politician.”

Beatitudes - Change - Listening

Other blessed “political beatitudes” include working “to accomplish radical change” and being “capable of listening.”

Pope Francis warned that “politics also has its share of vices, whether due to personal incompetence or to flaws in the system and its institutions.”

Life - Form - Service - Whole - Means

“When political life is not seen as a form of service to society as a whole, it can become a means of oppression, marginalization and even destruction,” he said.

Francis stressed that “political addresses that tend to blame every evil on migrants and to deprive the poor of hope are unacceptable,” adding that there is a “need to reaffirm that peace is based on respect for each person, whatever his or her background.”

Corruption - Forms - Misappropriation - Resources - Exploitation

“We think of corruption in its varied forms: the misappropriation of public resources, the exploitation of individuals, the denial of rights, the flouting of community rules, dishonest gain, the justification of power by force or the arbitrary appeal to raison d’état and the refusal to relinquish power,” he said.

“To which we can...
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