To get out of the confusion before the upcoming elections
Author: Staff | Source: Catholic.net
For your interest, we reproduce the Communion and Liberation manifesto on the electoral convocation of 2015, "a contribution that, as Christians, we offer to all to promote a dialogue that favors the recovery of our country, immersed in a political and social situation marked by the discredit and the confrontation".
The electoral calls ahead are presented to us, for the first time in many years, a confusing panorama, with many expectations, but also with many questions. We have obvious signs of economic recovery that allow us to look more confidently at the future, but at the same time we witness a crisis of political credibility unprecedented in our recent history. The numerous cases of corruption have created a general climate of disaffection towards politics and distrust in institutions, especially in parties. Political formations have largely lost contact with society and are dominated by short-term electoral. Public life has become arid and unpleasant because everything seems dominated by the dialectics between the parties. On too many occasions the political adversary is conceived as an enemy. It's hard to find dialogue spaces. One misses the high policy dominated by the ideal tension and by the service to the common good.
On the other hand, and even if it is paradoxical, the discontent has led to the birth of new acronyms that raise hope at the same time as doubts and concerns. In the face of a very eroded institutional life there is a desire for change that is interspersed with a vague fear that this change will lead to what has been built. Where to move? More confusion.
But the economic, institutional and social crisis also has an anthropological component. An analysis of our situation focused solely on the factor of the economy is somewhat shortsighted. "Behind the current crisis", have recently recalled the Spanish bishops, "What is hidden is a reductionist view of the human being who considers it simple Homo economicus, capable of producing and consuming. Man needs much more than to satisfy his primary needs" (Pastoral instruction Church, servant of the Poor, 23). Indeed, in our country a long time ago the issues that concern the meaning of our existence have been marginalized, decisive to confront the most important aspects of life, such as affection, work, education, sickness or death. And the proposals for meaning that come to meet these issues have been silenced.
Forsaking these fundamental questions, which constitute our human face, we are left without the capacity of judgment. It is normal, then, for confusion to grow and for us to end up giving up our initiative to power, from whom we will wait for the solution of our problems.
Economic, social, institutional, anthropological Crisis... And a confusing electoral panorama. Where does its part to overcome confusion? Is it enough to have an analysis, the nth, perhaps more acute than the one of the use gatherings? Is there anything in our experience that is already clear and can come to our aid? In a more radical way, our Christian experience, is it a factor that sheds light in this situation? In what sense does the Christian event awaken us, clarify the constitutive factors of our self and allow us to get out of the confusion?
This election period can be a good opportunity to surprise in action our starting point when reading the situation of our society and proposing solutions. In fact, the factors that make up our person are not captured in abstract but when the subject comes into action. At the same time, we are faced with a privileged opportunity to verify the usefulness of the faith, discovering the different levels of political incidence of the Christian community.
This will make it easier to get out of the confusion, avoid a reduced look at politics and take on our responsibilities. Too often we reduce our role to exercising the right to vote when we are summoned to the ballot box. And we conceive this vow as a transfer of responsibility to others, who must do what we think should be done. And so, we become mere spectators of political life. At the mercy of the logic of power.
Don Luigi Giussani, founder of Communion and Liberation, described, in 1976, the aforementioned levels of incidence of a Christian community:
1. The first level of political advocacy is the very existence of the Christian community. As a real space of freedom, the Christian community is guarantor and promoter of substantial democracy. The Christian experience thus becomes one of the protagonists of civil life, in constant dialogue with the other forces and presences that compose it.
The Christian community is marked by a real experience of affirmation of the other as a good, by a hug to all the needs of the person, because he is born and lives in the embrace with which Christ has affirmed to everyone who was in his path. A space thus becomes, in fact, a place of reconciliation, in an area of freedom that contributes to a more human coexistence.
2. "An authentic Christian community lives in constant relationship with the rest of the men, whose needs and problems fully share". From this arises the second level of political incidence: Because of the profound fraternal experience that develops in it, the Christian community tends necessarily to have its own ideas and its own method to confront the common problems, both theoretical and practical, which can offer as a specific collaboration to the rest of the society in which it lives.
Christians are called to live the faith as a new intelligence of reality, able to express themselves in works and relationships that represent a real contribution to the well-being of our country. Imitating the charity with which Christ cared to quench the hungry multitude, Christians cannot live indifferent to the needs of our brethren, whatever they may be. Faith is verified when it accepts the fatigue of tackling in a concrete way complex situation to put on foot more human and more suitable solutions for all.
3. The third level of incidence is thus reached, that of political militancy: When this level is reached it is no longer the community as such who commits but the people, who, under their own responsibility, although formed in the concrete life of the community, they undertake to seek additional instruments of political advocacy, both theoretical and practical.
It is natural, and desirable in the present juncture of our society, that from a living Christian community, vocations of service to the public life also arise through the options of party. Pope Francis has just reminded us: «Politics is one of the highest forms of charity, because it seeks the common good, imagining the most effective ways to achieve it (...). Making politics is important: small politics and Great politics ' (April 30, 2015). Don Giussani unites the sympathy of the Christian community towards this personal decision with the "irrevocable critical distance" that this community holds with regard to those who take it, to avoid that "the ecclesial experience ends up being instrumentalized". (L. Giussani, the movement of Communion and Release. A two-time interview conducted by Robi Ronza, Madrid 2010, pp. 121-124).
We are called to the polls to choose our representatives. The vote is a responsibility that each one must assume in the first person. In fact, a mature education in faith gives us all the elements to exercise that responsibility personally. But personal responsibility is not synonymous with a solitary conception of ourselves. This is a good opportunity to use the reason together: to identify the factors at play, to get in touch and to get to know the different formations and candidates who compete in these elections. And to let us know, talk and propose. Abdicating our responsibility means contributing to this degeneration of democracy, which is partocracy and which we criticize so much: politicians do not feel the need to respond to voters who are passive. We are in a moment of transition. In fact, each generation must decide again on what basis to build coexistence, even if only to confirm the previous ones.
Understanding our role in the construction of society gives us a new intelligence on the criteria of voting and makes us more free from the results. It will be fair to require our political representatives not to limit the freedom of the Christian community, and especially not to restrict their freedom to educate, a right that our constitution recognizes and is a decisive factor in dealing with the existential crisis (of relationship with ourselves and with reality) that underlies our social and institutional crisis.
Our representatives must also promote the common good and favor those who generate it. This implies that real protagonist in the construction of public life be given to the different social subjects that collaborate for the common good, following the principle of subsidiarity which, as our bishops remind us, "regulates the functions that correspond to the State and social bodies, intermediaries allowing them to develop their function without being annulled by the State or other instances of a higher order" (Church, servant of the poor, 31). The different levels of public administrations are called to value, promote and strengthen with specific policies this free exercise of association that wants to respond to common needs in the field of education, economic initiative, health, social services, etc. Spain urgently needs more civil society: realities that develop what Giussani calls "ideas and methods" with which to solve needs, with which to build a good life.
Our country needs politicians and rulers to allow the Society to be a place of real communication and free of experiences. Our task is to make available our vision and our way of life, beyond ideological stereotypes. Our democracy will win a lot if it becomes a meeting place between different proposals of meaning, by disparate and multiple that are. An area of freedom to narrate in front of everyone. A place where the religious opening (in its different expressions) is regarded with sympathy and becomes a real factor of construction and not in a personal matter shamefully cornered. The task is exciting. Let's play with this election call.