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Rome Reports

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Pope to Latin Americans: politics is a vocation to promote social friendship and common good

Pope Francis met with the Pontifical Commission for Latin America after they finished a week-long program on Catholic Social Doctrine at the Vatican. The goal is to train young leaders in South America to keep the Church in mind while exercising political and social rights. 

“Politics is not the mere art of administering power, resources or crises. Politics is not a mere search for efficiency, strategy and organized action. Politics is a vocation of service, it is a lay deaconate that promotes social friendship to increase the common good.”

He reminded those in attendance they have a saint who modeled faith as an example of friendship and a commitment to his people. St. Oscar Romero said the “Church isn't the organization, nor is the organization the Church.”

“In Latin America and throughout the world we are currently living a 'change of the times.' It requires renewing our languages, our symbols and our methods. Women, young people and the poor are, for various reasons, places of privileged encounter with the new emerging cultural sensitivity and with Jesus Christ.”

He said since they are the main part of the changing times and subjects of true hope, they must be the main focus of politicians. 

“Their presence, their happiness and especially their suffering are strong calls of attention for all those responsible for public life.”

The Holy Father called for a new and necessary wave of Catholics in political positions in Latin America. He asked that they seek out a clear Christian identity, look for possible good, use Gospel inspiration to “clean up” democracies.