Archbishop Agustin Garcia Gasco of Valencia, Spain, said this week in order for democracy to be authentic, politicians who assume leadership should govern by listening to all sectors of society and not close themselves in their own partisan ideology.
In his weekly letter entitled, “Ideology and Democracy,” the Archbishop recalled that democracy “allows for the expression of the equal dignity of all human beings” and “promotes the widest participation, taking care that movements toward totalitarianism or the monopolization of political power in favor the few do not occur.”
In this sense, democracy “assures that politics does not tyrannically usurp social life, respecting thus people’s individual initiative and the identity of human groups that do not depend on political power.”
Therefore, the Archbishop said that political parties that assume power with their respective ideologies “should not govern only for the exclusive benefit of the government in power,” because ideologies “are not ends in themselves, but rather are only positive inasmuch as they can be useful for building up the common good with principles that do not stray from human rights.”
Moreover, he recalled that the Spanish Constitution recognizes that “many other channels and means of expression in society exist, apart from the irreplaceable role of political parties, and which should be heard,” and that as such “it is not a question of taking legitimacy away from political parties but rather of joining forces in certain areas and issues.”