“Cute phrases are not enough”, Spanish cardinal tells politicians

.- The Archbishop of Valencia, Cardinal Agustin Garcia-Gasco, reminded politicians this week that their basic commitment is to serve the common good, which is cemented on respect for the dignity of the person and not on the construction of a society without religious references.

Referring to the upcoming elections in Spain on March 9, the cardinal said in his weekly letter that democracy “does not consist in winning elections at all costs, but rather it is the expression of having learned to live with full respect for human dignity, according to the ideal that ‘all rights are for everyone’.”

He warned that promises and “cute phrases are not enough,” as “voters know perfectly well how to tell who is supporting measures that benefit everyone and who is looking out for himself or for an ideological faction of society.”

“Democracy is confirmed or denied each time one of its actors moves in favor or against the rights and dignity of man,” the cardinal stressed, adding that human rights, especially for the most vulnerable and defenseless, “are the objective ethical keys of the common good,” which public officials must be in tune with, above and beyond their own interests and electability.

Cardinal Garcia-Gasco went on to reaffirm the Church’s commitment to the “renewal of truly democratic values” and to the primacy “of spiritual values above material ones.”  For this reason, he said, “it is never just for a politician to build an atheistic culture, a society without religious references.”

“The Church has always taught the primacy of the common good, and in doing so, has educated good citizens for each State,” the cardinal said.  “Whoever wants to grow in love according to the model of Jesus Christ cannot set aside his obligations towards the community in which he lives.”

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