Pope Urges Politicians to Embrace Morality, Competence
Pope John Paul II encouraged the world's politicians Sunday to embrace morality and competence and to make a commitment to the service of others, in a Jubilee celebration address.
"Political service is lived in a precise and daily commitment which calls for great competence in the fulfillment of one's duties and unswerving morality in the selfless and accountable exercise of power," the pope told a gathering of around 2,500 politicians from 93 countries.
He also called on politicians to seek ways to involve the public more fully in their work.
"There is a need to rediscover the true meaning of participation and to involve more civilians in seeking suitable ways of advancing towards...the common good," he said.
The pope also asked them to shun conflict in favor of dialogue.
"Christians must guard against yielding to the temptation to violent conflicts, which often cause great suffering to the community. Dialogue remains the irreplaceable instrument for every constructive confrontation both within states and in international relations," he said.
The pontiff concluded his address by recommended that politicians followed the example of their new patron saint, the British humanist, statesman and author Thomas More.
More was King Henry VIII's chancellor before he was arrested and sentenced to death in 1535 for his opposition to the monarch's divorce which caused the rift with Rome and the establishment of the Church of England.
He was beatified by pope Leo XIII in 1886 and canonized 65 years ago.
"As a statesman, he always placed himself at the service of the person, especially the weak and the poor. Honor and wealth held no sway over him, guided as he was by an outstanding sense of fairness," the pope said.
"Thomas More's life is truly an example for all who are called to serve humanity and society in the civic and political sphere," he added -- VATICAN CITY (AFP)
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