July 25, 2007
Cardinal: Democracy Needs Fair Play
Offers Advice to Newly Elected Officials in Philippines
CEBU, Philippines, JULY 22, 2007 ( Zenit.org ).- To seek the common good requires that we set aside differences and focus on resolving them with civility and candor, said Cardinal Ricardo Vidal.
Cardinal Vidal, archbishop of Cebu, offered this advice during a Mass attended by newly elected officials of different cities and municipalities in his archdiocese, AsiaNews reported.
The May elections in the Philippines were overshadowed by numerous violent episodes, while the Catholic Church there urged freedom at the booths.
"Public officials must be partners in good governance and show honesty, integrity and transparency in serving the public," stressed Cardinal Vidal.
"Hopefully," he continued, "with public service you will let the Holy Spirit guide you in decision making."
He also invited officials "to set aside their differences and help each other."
"There must be a determined effort to isolate the debate only within the parameters of the issues involved. To pull in other elements extraneous to the primary issue would be reckless escalation," he said.
The 76-year-old prelate affirmed that the democratic process must be based on "rules of rational behavior and fair play" and this "is not only true in the art of governance but in the most basic human relations."
"Even little children understand the rules of fair play and they protest whenever a partner violates the ground rules of a particular game: Because nobody is perfect, there is always a need for cooperation, for consultation for consensus building and above all civility in the conduct of every affair," he added.
The cardinal invited the officials to improve the living conditions of the city and its inhabitants, so that no one's concern is left behind and no one's interest is put ahead.
Cardinal Vidal concluded, "May Jesus, the king who humbles himself to become a little child, be your guide in the ways of good governance."