Bishop Emeritus Miguel Hesayne of Viedma (Argentina) said this week members of the Church cannot “abstain from their political commitment,” but he noted that just as the laity should not be “the long arm of the hierarchy,” neither should “the Church be locked in the sanctuary.”
Bishop Hesayne indicate that a “member of the Church cannot abstain from his political commitment if he wants to be faithful to the command of Jesus to be leaven, salt and light for the society in which he lives.”
He said Christians must be conscious of their “particular vocation” in the political arena and that it should not be surprising to hear a priest apply the gospel to political, social, cultural and technological realities.
On the contrary, he continued, “the laity must “demand ‘that Gospel’ from their pastors,” in order bring it into their own sphere and, in the case of politics, “into the voting polls in order to know how to elect and demand that elected officials keep their campaign promises and to place the government “at the service of the people.”
Citing Vatican II, Bishop Hesayne recalled that Catholics “have the possibility and the vocation of exercising political responsibilities and should prepare themselves to seek to carry it out, setting aside their own interests and all venial gain.”
He also called on Catholics to fight with “moral integrity and prudence against injustice and oppression, against intolerance and the absolutism of one man or political party” in order to be devoted “with sincerity and uprightness, and even more so with charity and political strength, to the service of all.”