DEMOCRACY NOT ENOUGH, SAYS POPE
Affirms Need for Values Founded on Truth of Person
VATICAN CITY, DEC. 21, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Despite the value of democratic principles, they alone are not enough to form a solid foundation for a society, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope said this Thursday upon receiving in audience Pio Bosco Tikoisuva, the new ambassador of Fiji to the Holy See.
In his address the Pontiff praised the democratic system for giving "a voice to all the different sectors of society and encourages shared responsibility."
He recalled that a key principle for a Christian "view of social and political organization is the virtue of solidarity, through which the different elements of society work together to achieve the common good of all, thereby producing what my predecessor Pope Paul VI so beautifully described as a 'civilization of love.'"
Quoting his encyclical "Spe Salvi," the Holy Father said "the moral well-being of the world can never be guaranteed simply through structures alone, however good they are."
"Democracy on its own is not enough, unless it is guided and enlightened by values rooted in the truth about the human person," said Benedict XVI. He said it is in promoting values that the Holy See can "make an important contribution to the common good."
"While governments take responsibility for the political ordering of the state, the Church unceasingly proclaims her vision of the God-given dignity and rights of the human person," he added.
"It is on this basis that she urges political leaders to ensure that all their people can live in peace and freedom, without fear of discrimination or injustice of any kind," the Pope explained. "She urges civil authorities to guarantee the most fundamental of all rights, namely the right to life from the moment of conception until natural death.
"Following on from this is the right to live in a united family and a moral environment conducive to personal growth, the right to seek and know the truth through education, the right to work and to enjoy the fruits of one’s labor, the right to establish a family and rear children responsibly."
Quoting "Cenesimus Annus," the Holy Father said "the synthesis of all these rights is found in religious freedom, understood as 'the right to live in the truth of one’s faith and in conformity with one’s transcendent dignity as a person.'"