French Cardinal fears the death of democracy

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, France, is concerned that democracy is in danger.  He sees that voices of justice and moderation are being squeezed out of democratic politics by increasingly radical voices of both liberal and conservative parties.  In part, the Cardinal blames misuse of the media – which is not always used to speak with the voices of shepherds.

If we don’t solve these problems, we will lose democracy.  And in a democracy there is no one to blame, and no one to solve these problems, but us, the voters.  We must educate ourselves, and we must vote wisely, for the good of all.  As a starting point, we must identify – and support – responsible sources of news, including our own Catholic newspapers, radio, and television networks.  And we must become personally involved in the electoral process.  We must speak up to our elected representatives, to let them know of our convictions.

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Let us pray for wisdom in our leaders and in ourselves, so that we can help to bring justice back to democracy, for the good of all, through the Gospel. Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray with us:

God of our parents, Lord of mercy, you who have made all things by your word; with you is Wisdom, who knows your works and was present when you made the world; who understands what is pleasing in your eyes and what is conformable with your commands, send Wisdom forth from your holy heavens and from your glorious throne dispatch her that she may be with us and work with us, that we may know what is your pleasure.  For she knows and understands all things, and will guide us discreetly in our affairs and safeguard us by her glory.  (cf. Wisdom, Chapter 9)

As Cardinal Barbarin has explained, “it seems we’re dealing with a democracy gone mad.  Although statesmen still exist, they’re unable to get through today’s campaign mechanisms…  Those who win are just electoral animals, not competent, rational politicians.”  He urges us not to vote for people who amount to nothing more than pretty, talking heads, but for those who are capable of leading competently and justly.

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