Wednesday, 17 April 2013

In politics, too, the other is a good.

Fr Julian Carron's letter to La Repubblica was written to address the political situation in Italy. But perhaps it has some relevance to our situation here in the United Kingdom, where the funeral today of Mrs Thatcher has been the cause of strong comment.
Now, thinking of the present, I say that unless we accept the elementary experience that the other is a good and not an obstacle to the fullness of our ‘I’, in politics as well as in human and social relations, it will be difficult to emerge from the situation in which we find ourselves.

Acknowledging the other is the true victory for each of us. The first to be called to travel this road, as happened in the past, are precisely the Catholic politicians, whatever their party. But unfortunately, they too often seem more defined by party alignments than by self-awareness of their ecclesial experience and the desire for the common good. Yet precisely their experience of being “members of each other” (Saint Paul) should enable them to view the other as part of the definition of self and thus of a good.

These days many have watched the Church and been surprised at how she was willing to change, the better to respond to the challenges of the present. In the first place, we have seen a Pope who, at the apex of his power, made an absolutely unheard of gesture of freedom, amazing everyone, so that another man with more energy could guide the Church. Then we witnessed the arrival of Pope Francis, who from the first moment has surprised us with gestures of disarming simplicity that are capable of reaching each person’s heart.

No comments: