Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, Archbishop of Genoa and President of the Italian Bishops' Conference, said in an interview that Catholics should have a more courageous and coherent presence in the public square.
"Catholics must bring the contribution of spiritual and ethical values into the public square," said Cardinal Bagnasco during the interview published on Tuesday by L'Osservatore Romano.
"The presence (in the public square) must be assumed by Catholics with greater persuasiveness and a greater capacity to respectfully explain our convictions, knowing that they come both from the Gospel and from a common understanding of the value of life," he added.
The Cardinal said that Catholics "do not want to impose a religious vision of society, but to propose universal values," and said that "the most credible argument, of course is the witness of our own personal life."
“There is no real politics without high moral and spiritual values,” Cardinal Bagnasco also said during the interview, when discussing the opinion of some politicians who believe that religious convictions should remain outside the public square.
“Politics, in fact, has justice as its goal, and justice is a moral virtue. It therefore requires from all those involved in politics a high sense of the human person, the right to life and the family,” he added.
The Archbishop of Genoa also said that Catholic politicians should be coherent with their beliefs when acting in the public square, and reminded them that “the Church believes that abortion is always a crime, as the Second Vatican Council says.”
“Benedict XVI has frequently reminded us that there are non-negotiable values that belong to the essence of the human person and that therefore, do not admit any kind of compromise. Otherwise the foundations of the dignity of the human person would depend on the dominating opinions and the interests of the moment,” he concluded.