The urgent duty
to evangelize politics
August 17, 2020
CONTRARY to the view that
clerics should be completely hands-off and quiet about politics, we
need to realize more deeply that clerics, in fact, have the grave
duty to evangelize politics just as they ought to do the same in all
the other temporal affairs of men and women, like in business, the
arts, sciences and technology, sports and recreation, even in
They have to bring the
spirit of Christ to bear on all these human concerns, because that
spirit should be involved in everything that is human. In fact, it
has to be made known that that spirit is supposed to be what is
proper to animate all these human affairs.
I think that it would be
wrong to think that evangelization should just remain in the level
of the spiritual and the supernatural, or in the level of the
theoretical. Clerics should have a working knowledge of how things
go in these fields of human endeavor. Their evangelization should
lead and cause some practical and concrete transformation in people
and in the way they do politics and carry out their earthly
Except that extreme care
has to be done so that this duty of evangelization is not turned
into playing partisan politics. This, of course, is not easy to do
since things can be confusing and we are always in the constant
process of knowing things better. So, a lot of prudence and patience
are always needed and a keen desire to clarify and help others
should be kept and developed.
And when we, the clerics,
happen to commit mistakes in this area, as when we overstep our
authority, we should be humble and simple enough to acknowledge
those mistakes and do the necessary corrections.
What is meant by
evangelizing politics is that aside from proclaiming what is
absolutely moral and immoral, it should foster an environment of
frank and cordial dialogue among the different and even conflicting
parties involved, keen desire with matching effort to pursue the
common good, adherence to agreed rules of engagement as articulated
in our legal and judicial systems, etc.
Of course, our human
systems can never be absolutely perfect. They will always be a work
in progress, always in need of updating, adapting, polishing,
refining. We should learn how to live with that condition, and how
to make the necessary improvements in them as we go along.
Letís always remember that
we are not expected to agree on everything. And part of evangelizing
politics should be that we learn how to disagree without
compromising charity and unity among ourselves.
Itís important that the
channels of dialogue should always be open no matter how different
and conflicting our views are. Thus, it is very advisable to be
always friendly and in talking terms with everyone, no matter how in
conflict our views are.
We should avoid rash
judgments, reckless and inflammatory words, or any antagonistic
action and gestures that can suggest and, worse, agitate people to
have a recourse to violence, or an invitation to hatred, etc.
Also, putting labels or
branding people as liberal or conservative, progressive or
regressive, or fanatically sticking to party and ideological lines,
while valid up to a certain extent, do not capture the whole dynamic
of peopleís real thoughts and intentions. We should be wary of
habituating ourselves in them. They usually oversimplify things and
give rise to unnecessary misunderstandings.
Everyone has to remember
that in matters of opinion, like in many political issues, no one
has all the good reasons. Itís important that we listen to each
other, since everyone has a reason for his opinions and preferences,
then study the issues well, before we make and defend our own
The moment people do not
talk to one another anymore, and, worse, are harboring ill-feelings
and antagonistic attitude towards others, thatís when we are
creating a toxic environment that is not healthy to our society. We
should do everything to avoid this situation.