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POLITICAL PERSPECTIVE AND PARTICIPATION OF VOTERS

The country of Italy has been known for its contribution to the world in terms of arts and architecture.
But it also known as one of the country in Europe where a heavily of its inhabitants identified
themselves as a Catholics. The Lateran treaty of 1929 between Mussolini and the Vatican made the
Roman Catholic Church to have a privilege to influence the Italian government and its political policy.
For more than a decade, the role of Catholic Church in the Italian government has been recognized in
many aspects such as in education, health and newly laws that will promulgated. But according to
Bonino(2016), the long battle against conservative culture of Italy has been changing from time to time.
It is clear when the Italian government recognized the civil unions for same sex marriage couple.
Although it resulted to a backlash and criticism from the top officials of the Catholic Church, it did not
stop the Italian government to promulgate the law. But even though same sex marriage had been
legalized in the Italy, the Catholic Church still managed to directly and indirectly exert its power on the
public sector in order to stop the other policy of the Italian government which is against the church
teachings and belief. The Catholic officials continue to lobby different institution in the Italian
government to elect and appoint conservative catholic in a high position in the government.

Note: RRL could be inserted to RQ3 under negative response B.

According to His Holiness Pope Francis, as a nation we share many blessings and strengths including a
tradition of religious freedom and political participation. As a Catholic we are called to participate in a public life
consistent or in lined with the teaching of our Lord. We must not ignore the principle of helping and serving the
marginalized. Think of what is good for the society and for the future of each one of us. And that every
individual must see their conscience in the work of Jesus and Mary. Pope Francis also added that, political
perspective of politician and individuals must be center in bringing justice, equality of opportunity and by
sharing the free gift of love. These traits emphasized that the political life and the teaching of the church is not
separate entity in bringing the common good for the people. The political participation of the people should be
based on the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness that make us all a community of life under one God.

In the statement released by the United States Conference of Bishop, catholic teaching and political
life is a political and moral responsibility and maintaining this is an important practiced in light of new
challenges facing by our nation. The U.S. Bishop released a voter’s guide that are produced and
distributed in all church institution and organization in the United States, to encourage Catholic to
reflect and compliment their political belief in lined with the dignity of human persons and to become
more active in political process.

Note: RRL could be inserted in the RQ1 under I.2

In the United States according to Considine(2011), it is a privilege to be a catholic in the United States because
although it is an immigrant church from Europe it worked both in shaping the perspective and participation of
individuals in a largely protestant nation. The impact of Catholic Church in American culture and identity has a
strong influence in the life of the American catholic and non-Catholic even though it is unseen. Considine
stated that even non- Catholic individuals in the United States absorbed its teaching in bringing political and
social action particularly in bringing social justice and ministering of the poor and the under privileged. This
kind of action is aligned in the Catholic tradition. In terms of political participation and perspective, many ex-
Catholic or former Catholics although they left the church, they still continue to promote the virtual and
sacrament teachings of the Catholic Church in addressing political issues in the United States.

CHURCH ADVOCACIES

In the study of Raistrick(2004), he emphasized the important of church advocacies in promoting social action.
Raistrick believed that the church and government must cooperate in each other to promote a common good
and to address the different vital issues facing by many other countries. In his example, like in many African
countries, the church had established a strong reputation and degree of credibility than the government. Aside
from this, when a senior church leader in Africa speak out on issues on the society they tend to carry huge
amount of influence and support from the people. The government of Africa cannot ignore it because it could
have an effect or impact to the action of the government. The Catholic advocacies together with the senior
church leaders a wider network of influence than the government. Majority of school, hospital and non-
governmental organizations are run by the church. The church leaders in Africa used thus kind of tactics to
have a valuable position or stand with the government and to maintain its political influence. Besides the
church advocacy can be easily disseminate by the church officials through local church than the government
policy. Lastly, church advocacy in Africa have significant moral weight in providing right platform.

THE CHURCH ROLE IN POLITICS

According to Dr, Harris(2017), individual and corporate body such as the church has a connection with each
other. Both individuals and the corporate body have an important part to play in the political realm. Harris
pointed out that the church has been exited long before the modern era or on the 21 st century. He said that the
Christian leader before has engaged in politics as early as the scripture. For example, during the time of
Daniel, he became a leader of Babylon and Amos together with other prophets who speak in political and
social matters in Israel and other nations. Aside from it, during the time of Jesus he spoke out against the
abuse of political power. The role of church in politics had been a center of debate for a long period of time. A
lot of important events in the history of human life particularly the context of politics where the church played an
important role in shaping the politics and government policy, its stand in opposition against apartheid in African
countries and its role in the fall of Soviet bloc during 1990s remind the government that the church can took a
radical and militant approach to stand itself and promote its own determination. Harris also added that until
today, church has maintained its eminent placed in the public opinion on the matters affecting the nation.

Note: RQ3 under negative response B.


While in the study of Raistrick(2004), many African countries church role in politics an important recognition
from the government. There are times that the government implements its policy under the consultation of the
church leaders. Aside from it, church leaders in Africa can influenced also the flow of business. Such as, when
a Sudanese church leaders spoke out at Oil Company meeting around the world that resulted to a forced
withdrawal of investment from the government of Sudan. In a letter of Pope Benedict XVI, he said that the role
of the church in politics is to awaken man’s receptivity of the truth and power of conscience. The Pope
encourages every men and women to live according to their conscience narrow pass than the tyranny and
anarchy which could not bring a way of peace.

Sources:

thebigpicture.homestead.com/churchinpolitics.html
http://www.uscatholic.org/blog/2011/07/sphere-influence-impact-catholics-us-society

http://www.secularism.org.uk/opinion/2016/05/invisible-power--how-the-catholic-church-influences-
italian-politics

http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/faithful-citizenship/forming-consciences-for-faithful-citizenship-part-one.cfm

HTTPS://WWW.AMERICAMAGAZINE.ORG/ISSUE/4 22/ARTICLE/CATHOLICS -POLITICAL-LIFE


https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/what-does-the-catholic-church-say-about-voting-35338

Recommendation:

The following recommendations for research are based on the study findings:
1. The advocacies Huwag Kang Magnakaw ang Huwag Kang Papatay of Archdiocese of Manila bring social and
political awareness in the issues of graft and corruption. These advocacies need to continue to implement in order
to properly inform the people about the said campaign. In doing these, Church officials should enhance its
communication through the use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter and etc. Aside from this, the church
should coordinate or conduct catechism in rural areas to bring the campaign closer to them. In terms of criticism
came from the government and the people. The Archdiocese of Manila should limit its intervention with the
government policy because it resulted to a negative perception by the people.