Skip to main content

The Wisdom of the Pope Applied to Elections

It is old news that “leftist” factions at La Sapienza University in Rome created such a hostile environment that Pope Benedict XVI canceled his appearance there. He was to have given a speech marking the inauguration of the new school year. The protesters claimed this pope was “anti-science” and pointed to a speech he gave as Cardinal Ratzinger that addressed the trial of Galileo. It is now known that the protesters were misquoting the Pope in his previous speech. Reading the words of the speech the Pope was to have given, it is clear this pontiff is definitely not anti-science. It is a lengthy treatise, but it is definitely a worthy investment of time and brain cells to carefully read it all.

I would like to draw your attention to one passage. As our American election season heats up, these words should be in every candidate’s and every voter’s mind:

Insofar as the reasonable mechanisms are concerned he notes that the issue cannot be reduced to a mere struggle for who gets more votes but must include a “process of argumentation that is responsive to truth” (wahrheitssensibles Argumentationsverfahren). This is well said but it is something difficult to turn into political praxis. We know that the representatives of this public “process of argumentation” are for the most part political parties which shape the formation of the public will. In fact they invariably will seek a majority and will almost always take care of the interests they pledge to protect which are very often partisan and not collective interests. Responsiveness to the truth always takes the back seat to partisan interests. To me it is significant that Habermas should say that responsiveness to truth is a necessary component of political argumentation, since it reintroduces the concept of truth in philosophical and political debates.


Thus the difference between a statesman and a politician. A statesman sees his role as one of service. A politician sees his role as one of garnering and preserving power. As we look at the various candidates, it is important to recognize who seeks to be a statesman and who seeks to be a politician.

Comments

Tausign said…
Introducing the concept of 'truth' in philosophical and political debate?...I sure hope that's a prophecy.

The best hope we have is when someone who 'doesn't want to be leader actually gets choosen to lead'. Think of the model used in choosing our spiritual Father, The Pope.

Popular posts from this blog

Parent Letter from a Catechist

I am going to be teaching seventh grade CCD this year. We do most of the preparation for confirmation during this year since Confirmation is usually scheduled for the fall of the eighth grade year.I have composed a letter to the parents to try and keep them active in their children's religious education. I thought I would post it here and get your feedback before I send it out in a couple of weeks.

I am privileged to be your child’s seventh grade CCD teacher for the 2006-2007 school year. This is a very important year. We will focus on your child’s preparation for confirmation. Of course, you have already been preparing your child for this sacrament for many years. You are the primary catechist for your child. You show how important your Faith is by making Mass attendance a top priority and by family prayer.

Confirmation is one of the Sacraments of Initiation. It is a beginning. It is not a graduation. This year we will work to solidify the foundation of your child’s Catholic Faith.…

Dispelling the Myth of the Travel Dispensation

One of the fun things about having a site meter on my blog is I can see which posts garner the most attention. I can also see how people find my blog. One of the most read posts from my two years of blogging is this one that discusses finding Mass while traveling. I would like to think this post is so popular because it is so well written. The truth of the matter is that it generates so much traffic because I use the words “travel dispensation for Mass”—as in “There is no such thing as a travel dispensation for Mass.” I would guess that nearly a dozen times every week, someone googles “travel dispensation for Mass” and finds my blog. I wonder how many of these folks are poor souls trying to assuage their Catholic guilt with evidence of a justification for missing Mass while on the road.

I know that when I tell my seventh grade CCD students that attending Mass every Sunday is a commandment (one of the top ten!) and not just a pretty good idea they are amazed. Missing Mass has become so …

United Breaks Guitars

This guy is really talented and what a creative way to get your message across. I think he captured the "indifferent employee" perfectly. They don't just work for airlines. I think I ran into them at Walmart on Friday!