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Pope Francis' reflections: Be active
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placeholder May 18, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 10   •   Oakland, CAA
Letters from Readers
Pope Francis' reflections

Be active in politics, no matter how 'dirty'
Catholics must get involved in politics even if it may be "dirty," frustrating and fraught with failure. Given today's "throwaway" culture and so many problems unfolding in the world, "Do I as a Catholic watch from my balcony? No, you can't watch from the balcony. Get right in there!" he said. He set aside his prepared text and instead took questions from four people in the audience, warning them at one point that it could be dangerous. Individual Catholics must get "embroiled" in politics, he said, because it is one of the "highest forms of charity" since it seeks the common good. Yet, it isn't easy, especially when there is so much corruption. "It's a kind of martyrdom" where one carries the cross of the ideal of the common good every day "without letting yourself be corrupted" or discouraged in the midst of failure. It is hard to be in the middle of it all "without getting your hands or heart a little dirty. … Ask the Lord to help you not sin, but if you get your hands dirty, ask for forgiveness and keep going;" don't get discouraged.

Pope Francis gestures at an audience with members of Christian Life Community and the Student Missionary League — groups inspired by Ignatian spirituality — in Paul VI hall at the Vatican April 30. As a Jesuit priest, Pope Francis served as a national assistant to the Christian Life Community in Argentina in the late 1970s.

Giampiero Sposito/Reuters, cns

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