Pope says Church Social Teaching can help in public debate
Pope John Paul II has said that the Church can contribute to political discourse in the way it applies its social doctrine to public questions.
The Pope made this suggestion during a meeting this week with a group of bishops from Brazil. Brazil is regarded as an economic powerhouse with one of the world's greatest gaps between rich and poor.
The Holy Father said the Church in no way wishes "to usurp tasks and prerogatives of the political power. But it knows that it must also offer to politics its specific contribution of inspiration and direction on the great moral values."
He said the distinction between Church and State must not prevent discourse that might inspire political activities that promote "the common good of society".
The Church's most appropriate contribution, he said, is its body of Social Teaching, which is designed "to facilitate the formation of the Christian conscience and the implementation of justice in human coexistence".
Catholic Social Teaching (Office for Social Justice, Archdiocese of St Paul and Minneapolis)
28 Nov 2002