Pope Francis told a gathering of Catholic politicians on August 22, 2018, that they have a responsibility to be witnesses to the faith.
His comments came during the 9th Annual Conference of International Catholic Legislators Network (ICLN) and were reported by Vatican News.
The Holy Father told the group to use their position as Christian’s with authoritative roles to spread laws based on the teachings of the Church in order to aid Christians and other religious minorities who are being persecuted worldwide.
He also reminded the group of one of the Second Vatican Council’s most important documents, published on the 7th of December 1965: The Declaration Dignitatis Humanae, The Holy Father said Dignitatis Humanae can be applied to religious persecution today, noting that this phenomenon still persists in some countries. The situation has in fact worsened for Christians and other religious minorities who are based in regions affected by fundamentalism, he said.
Pope Francis stressed the danger in fighting fundamentalism and intolerance with as much fundamentalism and intolerance. He stated that religious freedom today must “consciously deal with two, equally menacing, opposing ideologies: secular relativism and religious radicalism – in reality, pseudo-religious radicalism”.
Pope Francis told the members of ICLN that, though they all play different roles within their respective countries, what they have in common is the good will to serve the Kingdom of God through an honest political commitment.
“Far from feeling or appearing as a hero or a victim, the Christian politician is called upon, first and foremost, like every baptised person, to try to be a witness – through humility and courage – and to propose consistent laws based on the Christian view of humanity and society, always seeking collaboration with all those who share these views,” Francis said.
The International Catholic Legislators Network (ICLN) is an association of legislators, government representatives, experts and civil and political authorities. Their annual meeting includes an audience with the Holy Father in order to nurture their formation and education. They meet with the aim of reaching and spreading a unified vision of proposed themes, based on the Church’s teachings, in accordance with their roles as individuals in governments and other institutions within their countries.