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Spokesman for CELAM says political involvement by priests destroys unity

.- Speaking about the issue of liberation theology and its impact on the clergy, the spokesman for the 5th General Conference of the Latin American Bishops’ Council, Bishop Hector Gutierrez Pabon, said Sunday that priests who get involved in politics “immediately break the unity and the mission they were entrusted with.”

During a press conference following Pope Benedict XVI’s discourse inaugurating the CELAM conference, Bishop Pabon explained that some priests and their communities want to take advantage of the leadership and organizational skills of our priests. The danger of this is that it threatens to turn them into political partisans.  “The Church has had experience in this area and has been very clear: to each his own.”

“As soon as a priest becomes political, the unity and the mission that he was entrusted with, which is to make the message of the Lord known to all without regard for social class or political beliefs, are immediately broken,” Bishop Pabon stressed.

He noted, however, that bishops become involved in politics in so much as the issue is a matter of the “common good and is based on the Gospel and is spelled out by the Church in her social teaching.”

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