He recalled that the author of “Reflections on the Revolution in France” told his constituents after his election to the British Parliament that he would not only serve their interest but also “the interest of the entire country, the general good.”
The pope said: “As Christians, we recognize that politics is practiced not only through encounter, but also through shared reflection in the pursuit of this general good, not simply through the clash of differing and often opposed interests.”
He added: “Our own compass for advancing this common project is the Gospel, which brings to the world a profoundly positive vision of humanity as loved by God.”
The Chemin Neuf Politics Fraternity is part of the Chemin Neuf Community, which was founded in Lyon, France, in 1973 and describes itself as a Catholic community with an ecumenical vocation.
Members of the Politics Fraternity issued a manifesto in Poland in 2016 recalling that Pope Pius XI described politics as “the highest form of charity” and committing themselves to strive “for justice and peace, through our political commitment.”
The pope highlighted the group’s “efforts on behalf of migrants and ecology,” as well as an initiative in which members “have chosen to live together in a working-class quarter of Paris, in order to listen to the voices of the poor.”
“That is a Christian way of engaging in political life,” he commented. “Don’t forget these things, that realities are more important than ideas: politics cannot be practiced with ideology. That the whole is greater than the part, and that unity prevails over conflict. Always seek unity and do not get lost in conflict.”
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