Posted by Bishop Robert McElroy 1sc on May 07, 2014
For today’s Common Good Forum, we feature the remarks given by Bishop Robert McElroy, the auxiliary bishop of San Francisco, at a recent dialogue on the moral dilemmas of partisanship at Georgetown hosted by the University’s Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life.
Catholic teaching views the vocation of politics as a vital element in building up the Kingdom of God on earth. Just as democracy is not merely a set of empty procedures, but instead the promotion of the dignity of the human person, respect for human rights, and commitment to the common good, so too the vocation of the political leader is a deeply moral one. It is rooted in the commitment to share fully in the destiny of the people while seeking solutions to society’s deepest problems. It seeks to put power into practice as service. As Pope Francis noted last September “politics, according to the social doctrine of the church, is one of the highest forms of charity, because it serves the common good in humility and love.”
It is this inherent dignity of political leadership, and the countless sacrifices that public officials are called to make in their daily lives for the service of our nation, which compel us to thank and acknowledge tonight all who respond to these truest calls to public service in our society. And it is out of a profound respect for the enormously complex questions of conscience and moral choice that political leaders face repeatedly in their vocation that we gather together and reflect upon the issue of what role party politics can and should play in the decisions of our political leaders at this moment in our history. Read more