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Government serves the common good, Pope reminds ambassadors

Catholic World News - October 22, 2010

Government and the Church should cooperate in serving the common good, Pope Benedict XVI said as he met on October 22 with three new ambassadors to the Holy See: from Slovenia, Portugal, and Ecuador.

The Catholic Church, the Pope reminded Ecuador’s new envoy, Luis Tapia Dositheus Latorre, "seeks no privileges, but only asks to give her contribution for the development of individuals and society.” That contribution, he added, includes a reminder that mankind is answerable to God—a reminder that is crucial to the health of society, since those nations that ignore God inevitably lapse into “injustice and totalitarianism.” Furthermore, he said, the Church defends human life, the family, and marriage. While clerics should not become involved in partisan politics, he said, they also must not “remain neutral in the face of great problems, nor be idle in fighting for justice.” Speaking to Portuguese ambassador Manuel Tomás Fernandes Pereira, the Holy Father repeated that the Church sometimes must be involved in public affairs, “not doing it for political ambitions, but to be faithful to the mission entrusted her by her Divine Founder.” He said that the involvement of the Church should encourage all people to be better citizens. To Maja Maria Lovren?i? Svetek, the new ambassador from Slovenia, the Pontiff observed that the heritage of Christian culture that has given cohesion of society in Slovenia reflects “the shared Christian roots of the Old Continent.” Europe as a whole, he said, should acknowledge and recover those roots. For Slovenia particularly, he added, the faith can provide strength during times of trial—as the faithful learned during the years of Communist rule and in the first years of independence.

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