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BY Father Owen KearnsPublisher
“We don’t intend to exercise any political power — on the
contrary. But we insist on human values, and that is the most important.”
That’s how Cardinal Pio Laghi sums up his service as the
papal nuncio to the United States in our Inperson interview.
That’s also how the Church could sum up its approach to
politics. The Church doesn’t have an interest in the parochial power concerns
of a party or a nation. Wherever she has tried to take a lead in politics, she
has been led astray.
What the Church does have an interest in, is human rights —
and, ironically, this has given the Church a greater impact than she would have
were she reduced to a mere political special interest.
In another article, we report on President Bush’s meeting
with Pope Benedict.
“President Bush was deeply moved by the experience,” said
Judith Ansley, special assistant to the president.
What makes a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI a profound
experience isn’t the intelligence and personality of Joseph Ratzinger. It is the
moral authority of the Catholic Church that he represents — an authority that,
by God’s grace, he exercises as Vicar of Christ.
As Raymond Flynn, former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See,
puts it: “When the most important political leader meets with the most
important moral leader, the meeting is always significant.”
It’s this moral authority of the magisterium that the
Register wants to give readers access to each week. Whenever possible, we quote
the words of the magisterium to shed light on issues of the day.
That’s because, for us, on questions of life and the
fundamental character of our society — issues like war, immigration and
marriage — politics isn’t the point. “Human values — that is what’s most