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Pope says politics is about service, not popularity
    Pope John Paul II has told 40,000 politicians assembled in St Peter's Square for their Jubilee that politics is about selfless service, and future electoral success should not motivate politicians.
    The Holy Father told the politicians that they must live their "involvement in politics as a service to others. ... Political service is lived in a precise and daily commitment, which calls for great competence in the fulfillment of one's duties and unswerving morality in the selfless and accountable exercise of power."
    The Catholic politician, moreover, has the guidelines of the social doctrine of the Church, which, as the Holy Father explained, "do not constitute an ideology and even less a political program; rather, they offer a fundamental approach to understanding the human person and society in the light of the universal ethical law present in the heart of every human being, a law which is clarified by the revelation of the Gospel."
    The Pope proposed St Thomas More as an inspiration. He has just proclaimed the 16th century English martyr the patron of politicians.
    "Invoke him, follow him, imitate him! His intercession will not fail -- even in the most difficult situations -- to bring you strength, good-naturedness, patience and perseverance," the Holy Father said.
   
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7-Nov-00