U.S. Bishops' Panel Urges New Kind of Politics

Calls for Focus on the Common Good, Not Demands of Special Interests

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WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 18, 2004 (Zenit.org).- In testimony submitted to the Democratic and Republican party platform committees, U.S. bishops have called for «a new kind of politics — focused on moral principles not on the latest polls.»

Such a politics should focus «on the needs of the poor and vulnerable, not the contributions of the rich and powerful, and on the pursuit of the common good, not the demands of special interests,» the prelates said in a statement published this week.

«The central question should not be ‘Are you better off than you were four years ago?'» the bishops declared. It should be «How can ‘we’ — all of us, especially the weak and vulnerable — be better off in the years ahead?»

Declaring that «our nation has been wounded,» the bishops suggest the reality of war and economic stress has «taught us that no amount of military strength, economic power, or technological advances can truly guarantee security, prosperity, or progress.»

«The most important challenges we face are not simply political, economic or technological, but ethical, moral and spiritual,» the statement said. «We face fundamental questions of life and death, war and peace, who moves ahead and who is left behind.»

The testimony submitted to the party platform committees is the text of «Faithful Citizenship: A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility,» the bishops’ quadrennial political responsibility statement, which reminds Catholics of their obligations as citizens to participate in the public life of the nation.

The bishops’ testimony is being submitted to both parties as they begin this month the process of drawing up new party platforms in preparation for this summer’s conventions.

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