In his recent address to Congress, Pope Francis said this to our political leaders:
“You are called to defend and preserve the dignity of your fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good, for this is the chief aim of all politics…A political society endures when it seeks, as a vocation, to satisfy common needs by stimulating the growth of all its members, especially those in situations of greater vulnerability or risk. Legislative activity is always based on care for the people. To this you have been invited, called, and convened by those who elected you.”
Some of our politicians suggested that Pope Francis should stay out of politics, seemingly not acknowledging that our moral and spiritual values inevitably underlie our politics, whatever our positions might be. Pope Francis reminds us that the call of not only our leaders, but all of us, is to measure the outcomes of public policy by how well the most vulnerable are doing in our society. He calls us to examine our own positions to see how well they align with God’s desire for a government that pays attention to the well-being of all, and particularly for those most at risk.