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POPE-POLITICIANS Sep-24-2012 (410 words) With photos. xxxi

Christian politicians must protect marriage, common good, pope says

By Catholic News Service

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) -- Christian politicians have a duty to protect human life, traditional marriage and the common good, Pope Benedict XVI said.

All Christians are called upon to defend and promote human dignity, and "this responsibility particularly concerns those called to political office," he told representatives of Christian Democratic parties from around the world.

The Old Testament warning that "judgment is stern" for those in high places is "highly beneficial," the pope said, because it is "a warning given not to frighten but to spur and encourage those in government, at all levels, to achieve all the good of which they are capable, in keeping with the mission the Lord entrusts to each one."

The pope's remarks came during an audience with political leaders taking part in the Christian/Centrist Democrat International's executive committee meeting Sept. 21 in Rome.

The group's president, Pier Ferdinando Casini, told the pope that the separation of church and state "cannot suppress the human person's innate need for religiosity; there is no healthy secularity without God and religion."

The pope said that to promote the common good and protect human dignity, Christian politicians must discern the truth of the primacy of the person through a "constant attention to the Word of God and the Magisterium of the church."

This is especially urgent in a world where "the cursory, superficial and short-term responses to the most fundamental and profound human needs are numerous and strident," and people tend to "wander away to myths" that "suit their own desires" rather than put up with sound doctrine, he said.

Bringing about authentic human justice demands a respect for life at all of its stages and the "rejection of procured abortion, euthanasia and any form of eugenics."

Respect for the indissolubility of marriage between a man and a woman is also part of contributing to the authentic progress of human society, he said.

All nations and international bodies should adopt such policies "in order to reverse the tendency towards the growing isolation of the person, which is a source of suffering and atrophy for both individuals and society," he added.

The current global economic crisis also needs to be addressed, he said, with "new rules" based on solid ethical foundations and not "limited to responding to the requirements of market logic."

All Christians are called to respond to the world's challenges "with confidence, not resignation," and to shoulder their responsibilities with realism, determination, enthusiasm and hope, he said.

END


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