The believer in Jesus Christ cannot separate his or her understanding of responsibility in and for society from those criteria of judgment which are set out in the Gospel:
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me” (Mt 25:35–36).
The Christian in politics and in society cannot renounce his or her special responsibility to protect the weak and the marginalised. This responsibility cannot be delegated or supressed to party interests or emptied into the language of spin. Politics is not just the art of the possible; it is a vocation where the interests of all citizens should respected and where the respect and trust of citizens will only be won by honesty and integrity.
Democracy however is not limited to voting. Democracy is fundamentally about people working and walking together to foster the common good. Democracy is damaged by indifference and by a splintering of society or a fixation on individual interests. A general election is a moment in which all citizens, and not just political parties, should reflect and take stock of the health of the nation and especially on how we respond to the plight of the most vulnerable.
Read the complete Pastoral Statement.