State cannot do without Church’s social work, says Spanish archbishop

.- In his weekly pastoral letter, Archbishop Agustin Garcia-Gasco of Valencia said the collaboration between the Church and the State in the area of charity is “essential” because “there will always be suffering that requires consolation and help” and “there will always be situations of material need in which assistance that imparts concrete love of neighbor is essential.”

Faced with these problems, “it is not good that the State seeks to absorb everything into itself, denying the action of the individual and of social groups that make up society,” the archbishop stated, underscoring that “politics do not have an exclusive roll in society.”

What the suffering human being needs most, he continued, “is affectionate personal attention and no bureaucracy can provide that.”  In fact, he said, the State “will never be able to give love.”

Therefore, Archbishop Garcia-Gasco went on, “it is essential for the good of humanity that the State apply the principle of subsidiarity and thus recognize and support the initiatives that spring forth from different social forces.”

The Church is part of “these living forces of social and charitable action,” he said, as she “provides not only material assistance to all mankind, but also peace and concern for the soul, which are often more necessary than material help.”

Therefore, the Church “encourages the lay faithful to participate directly in public life,” the archbishop stressed.  Political activity can by properly seen as “social charity,” he noted, as charity “should animate the entire existence of the Catholic faithful.”

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