By Francesca Merlo
Pope Francis begins his address to the Pontifical Commission for Latican America by stating that politics is a vocation in favour of the Common good. The Christian vocation, and in particular that of politicians stems from community. The first sign of a community, continues the Pope is the friendship that grows amongst the members. These friends find each other through the incarnation of Christ, who, the Pope says has taught us to transform a fearsome and at times selfish “I” into a “we”.
Pope Francis specifies that being a Catholic involved in politics does not mean being part of a group or of an organization. It means being part of a community.
Politics for the common good
The political involvement of the Christian comes from the desire to build upon the common good. Pope Francis underlines this by quoting Saint Oscar Romero, who he says, spoke so that the lay faithful could be free.
The Christian involved in politics can bring politics into the light of the Gospel, and therefore make sure it is the people who are acting as the main protagonists of their own stories.
Pope Francis goes on to highlight the fact that the whole world is “going through a change of era”, this, he says, “requires a change in language, in signs and in methods”. By change, the Pope specifies that he does not mean “a simple marketing tool” but the application of that very same method God picked for us: Incarnation.
The three main factors that are most vital to the future and loyalty of Latin American identity, according to Pope Francis are women, youth and the poor.
Church, the spouse of Christ
Women, because “The future of Latin America has a female face”. Young people, because “in them lies the nonconformity and rebellion necessary to promote real changes”. And, the poor because through them, the “Church portrays its loyalty as the spouse of Christ”.
Finally, Pope Francis urges all Christians involved in politics to express their most authentic fights, to be present in the political sphere and to never stop fighting for the common good, through politics in all its forms.