Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "We need truly Christian politicians" to promote in the "confused cultural relativism" of our times the values given by the Church's social doctrine, like life, family, solidarity with the poor, freedom, the search the common good, which ensure an authentic development of society. This was the exhortation that Benedict XVI addressed to Catholic laity throughout the world, as he met with participants at the 24th Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, on the theme "Witnesses to Christ in the political community."
It is "a demanding challenge. The times we live in place us in front of large and complex problems, and the social question has become, at the same time, an anthropological question. Ideological paradigms which claimed, in the recent past, to be a ‘scientific’ answer to this question, have collapsed. The spread of a confused cultural relativism and a utilitarian and hedonistic individualism weakens democracy and favours the predominance of strong powers. We must recover and revive genuine political wisdom, be demanding in our own particular fields of competence, apply critical thought to research in the human sciences; face reality in all its aspects, going beyond ideological reductionism or utopian assertions; show ourselves open to all true dialogue and cooperation, bearing in mind that politics is a complex art of balance between ideals and interests, but never forgetting that the contribution of Christians is decisive only if the intelligence of intelligent faith becomes reality, key to wise judgment and transformation. We need a true 'revolution of love'. The new generations have before them great needs and challenges in their personal and social life. "
Referring to the theme of the assembly, Benedict XVI had earlier said that "certainly the technical training of politicians is not within the mission of the Church. To this end there are, in fact, various institutions. However, it is its mission to express its moral judgment even on matters concerning the political order, when so required by the basic rights of the person and by the salvation of souls ... using all and only those means that are consistent with the Gospel and the good of all, according to the different times and situations' (Gaudium et spes, 76). The Church concentrates in particular in educating the Disciples of Christ, so they may increasingly be witnesses to His presence everywhere. "
"It is up to lay faithful – he continued – to concretely show in their personal and family lives, in the social, political and cultural sphere, that faith allows you to read reality and transform it in anew and profound way; that Christina hope widens humanity’s limited horizon and that it projects it towards the true heights of its being, towards God; that charity in truth is the most efficient force capable of transforming the world; that the Gospel is a guarantee of liberty and a message of freedom; that the fundamental principals of the Churches social doctrine – the dignity of the human person, subsidiarity and solidarity – are of great relevance and value in promoting new paths in the service of the integral development of man and all men. It is also up to lay faithful to participate actively in political life, in a manner that is always consistent with the teachings of the Church, sharing well-founded reasons and high ideals in the democratic process and seeking a consensus with all those who care about the defence of life and of freedom, safeguarding truth and good care of the family, solidarity with those in need and the necessary search for the common good. "
Christians "do not seek political or cultural hegemony, but wherever they commit themselves, they are moved by the certainty that Christ is the cornerstone of every human construction”. They know, however, that "politics is a very important area of the exercise of charity. It calls Christians to a strong commitment to citizenship, to build a good life in nations, as well as an effective presence in offices and programs of the international community. We need truly Christian politicians, but even before that faithful witnesses of Christ and the Gospel in the civil and political community. "