The Personal Qualities of a
truly Christian politician
wisdom from Pope Francis
According to Pope Francis, a truly Christian politician:
- Sees the Earth itself as our home. Wants to help build compassionate communities and ecological civilizations where people live with respect and care for the community of life. Knows that global climate change, environmental destruction, economic inequities, the rise of authoritarianism, and the cultural emptiness of consumerism require us all to live in different ways.
- Promotes forms of social friendship that include everyone, including people of other parties. Avoids the very idea that politics is, or has to be, a blood sport.
- Avoids fanaticism, closed-mindedness, and the fostering of social and cultural fragmentation. Does not taunt, belittle, or rely on demeaning rhetoric.
- Is a really good and humble listener. Does not always need to be in the spotlight. Is especially happy when people who are otherwise neglected or unheard share their perspectives. Enjoys letting others speak.
- Knows that love can be promoted by responsible public policies as well as personal example: building bridges, creating jobs, promoting public education, supporting the arts.
- Practices what he or she preaches. Measures the spiritual stature of his or her own life, not in terms of appearance, affluence, and marketable achievement, but in terms of kindness and love.
- Measures the well-being of society in terms of how those in greatest need are treated: the very old, the very young, the disabled, the powerless, the people who are born in situations of neglect, abuse, and poverty, the unborn.
- Sees economics in general, and business in particular, as in service to community, both human and ecological. Avoids seeing everything in terms of market freedom and efficiency. Avoids the idolaty of economism.
- Knows that private property can be a good thing, but that private property is secondary to common use of created good for the good of all and the Earth. Does not make a god of private property.
- Appreciates local culture and wants to help people in local settings. Knows that what is most beautiful in life is often local and specific, with communities that flourish and where people have satisfying jobs and healthy families. Is at home in local coffee shops and local taxicabs. Is not at home in limousines and private spas.
- Feels a sense of world loyalty: loyalty to a world where borders are irrelevant, where people live with a larger sense of love: a love beyond borders that recognizes the rights and dignity of immigrants and refugees.
- Knows that the ultimate horizon of life - the God of boundless love - is likewise a God beyond boundaries.