CNS photo/Cleveland V. Stordy, B.C. Catholic

Politics must have a broader horizon

By  Terrence J. Downey
  • January 22, 2015

“I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor!”   
Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel)

While sections of the Pope’s encyclical Evangelii Gaudium have received considerable attention, his acute observations on politics and politicians have been overlooked. Many of these are instructive for Canadians as we enter a federal election year.

While recognizing that politics “remains a lofty vocation … inasmuch as it seeks the common good,” Pope Francis notes that human dignity and the pursuit of the common good sometimes “seem to be a mere addendum imported from without in order to fill out a political discourse lacking in perspectives or plans for true or integral development.” This observation resonates in Canadian politics, where reference to “the common good” has all but disappeared, replaced by the specific demands of retail politics.

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