.- Bishop Emeritus Miguel Hesayne of Viedma (Argentina) said this week members of the Church cannot âabstain from their political commitment,â but he noted that just as the laity should not be âthe long arm of the hierarchy,â neither should âthe Church be locked in the sanctuary.â
Bishop Hesayne indicate that a âmember 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.â
He said Christians must be conscious of their âparticular vocationâ 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, âthe laity must âdemand âthat Gospelâ from their pastors,â in order bring it into their own sphere and, in the case of politics, âinto the voting polls in order to know how to elect and demand that elected officials keep their campaign promises and to place the government âat the service of the people.â
Citing Vatican II, Bishop Hesayne recalled that Catholics âhave 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.â
He also called on Catholics to fight with âmoral integrity and prudence against injustice and oppression, against intolerance and the absolutism of one man or political partyâ in order to be devoted âwith sincerity and uprightness, and even more so with charity and political strength, to the service of all.â