When the elector is called to discern

On the occasion of the next political consultations on 25 September, 50 personalities from the Catholic world signed a manifesto on the “discernment” by Christians to exercise before entering the voting booth. Here is the full text.

On the eve of the upcoming elections, an old dispute has reopened around the weight / relevance of Catholics in Italian politics. It is not given to us here to thematize the question. We limit ourselves to distancing ourselves from two opposing approaches: that of those who cultivate a sterile nostalgia for a time represented (very approximately) as marked by “Catholic hegemony” and in any case by a substantial political unity of Catholics, today no longer possible to propose; or that of those who, on the contrary, theorize the practical insignificance of a Christian inspiration in political action. If anything, we recognize ourselves in the hint reserved for the question by Cardinal Parolin, according to which politics boasts its own autonomy that must be honored and therefore Catholics, as individuals or as groups, can and must freely and secularly join together on a political (non-confessional) basis. ) without however renouncing – so Parolin – an original prophetic instance of theirs. Which, it is clear, can generate different political orientations and militancy. On closer inspection, not all are compatible with a pregnant Christian inspiration. The following, therefore, does not claim exclusivity, but only reflects the point of view of the subscribers.

It may be that we are exaggerating when a comparison is made between the scale of the upcoming electoral contest and that of 1948. Some fear threats to our democracy. Certainly a serious health problem for democracy it is represented by the dimensions of abstentionism which certainly does not contribute to the demeaning spectacle offered by the parties in compiling the lists of the “nominated”. Under the banner of “parachuting” and the frantic race for guaranteed seats. Parties reduced to self-referential oligarchies, the receptacle of a political class aimed at perpetuating itself. Therefore, concern for the fate of our country is not without foundation. At least under three profiles: certain illiberal impulses, the geopolitical position of Italy, the prospect of demagogic recipes that would lead the country to default. The opposite of the Pope’s sober recommendation regarding the Italian elections condensed into one word: responsibility! It is therefore right to place political judgment within the framework of these well-founded concerns. Without neglecting programmatic priorities that we allow ourselves to point out.

Firstly, the three major scenarios, closely intertwined, of peace, social justice and the safeguarding of the biosphere, which are of absolute priority on a global, continental and local level, but by no means central to electoral programs. He lacks a vision of the future; both hope and responsibility are lacking. According to all analysts, the social question in a broad sense will already take on dramatic dimensions in the coming months: poverty, precariousness, unemployment, lower incomes for workers, inequalities. Faced with this scenario, all political offers must be stigmatized which on the one hand draw unsustainable and unfair fiscal policies, on the other hand in contrast with the constitutional principle of progressivity, as well as amnesties and amnesties that undermine civic sense and justice; on the other hand, they would like to abolish (and not, if anything, reshape) the instrument to combat poverty in citizenship income. Basically, a weakening of welfare in a situation that, if anything, would instead require its extension.

The environmental issue and the fight against climate change. More than just rhetorically evoked, despite its epochal and urgent significance attested by both the scientific community and the municipality experience of increasingly frequent and upsetting extreme events. We must avoid that the current energy emergency once again blocks the necessary green transition. This is a challenge to which young people of all latitudes are particularly sensitive and to be inscribed, to all intents and purposes, within the horizon of justice between generations. The link between the social question and the environmental question is the pivotal thesis of the teaching of Francis, under the title of “integral ecology”, developed in Laudato si ‘and in Fratelli tutti.

The war, which has almost disappeared in the electoral confrontation. The unequivocal judgment on its responsibility and on the right to legitimate defense does not exempt us from the incessant and tenacious search for negotiating avenues and from the duty of not to endorse a conception of conflict that unrealistically points to the annihilation of the adversary (as in the total wars of the twentieth century) or even to a war escalation. Political-military alliances, in our case NATO, must not prevent us from asserting our point of view (since we are dealing with alliances). Within the framework of a West whose values ​​we recognize, but which we cannot understand as a block opposed to the rest of the developing humanity, our role is to build an autonomous protagonism of Europe whose interests and values ​​are not always or necessarily they coincide with those of the USA. We need more Europe, and a more united Europe, which makes NextGenEu’s intuition stable. The epochal perspective of civilization, for which we must seek a stronger commitment to collective political rationality, must take as its horizon the relaunch of international multilateral cooperation within the framework of the UN, the reform of globalization processes, the overcoming of war, disarmament and demilitarization, international understanding, the fight against arms production and trade.

This decisive horizon, which binds peace, social justice and environmental protection together, calls for further fundamental questions. Immigration. This is an epochal question, not an emergency, which therefore it requires a long-term vision and international cooperation. To be managed with realism and a sense of responsibility, but without unfounded alarmism. Aiming at regular immigration thanks to programmed flows and the safeguarding of the right of asylum, as required by the Constitution, collaborating with NGOs involved in saving human lives at sea. The action of those who ride the problem from an electoral point of view by relying on fear and prejudices must be stigmatized. Conversely, those who engage in integration policies articulated throughout the territory are to be appreciated. Economists agree that, especially due to the demographic trend, well-managed immigration is an indispensable resource for our economy and for our welfare. Starting with the pension system and its long-term sustainability.

Investment in volunteering and the third sector. Never as today is it required to preserve the universalistic character of our welfare. This requires a set up of the large services aimed at satisfying fundamental needs-rights – exemplary health, education, assistance – centered on a well-understood primacy of the public. A primacy which, however, must not be translated into a state monopoly in the management of services. The complementary principles of solidarity and subsidiarity require cordial collaboration between public and private-social sectors. Only in this way is it possible to avoid the bureaucratization of the service network and to give substance to a community welfare supplemented by mutual aid practices. The family. It needs an organic set of policies aimed at enabling young people to have a family. Measures relating to training, work, home, support for maternity, nursery schools, the difficult reconciliation between family and work, which especially women are involved in. Notoriously, the low female participation in the labor market, with conspicuous negative repercussions on growth, is one of the unenviable Italian peculiarities.

Legality and the fight against the mafias that now afflict the entire national territory. The impression is that, net of the rituals, the threshold of vigilance by politics and institutions has been significantly lowered. Is in the concrete action to contrast them, and in the active promotion of a culture of legality at all levels. Only two examples: borderline candidacies and the brazen proposal of amnesties and amnesties, a fatal blow to the moral and civil duty of fiscal loyalty. Finally, it is required to watch over the cornerstones of our constitutional democracy. It would be contradictory, while the difference between our liberal regimes and autocracies is claimed, to yield to the push for the verticalization of power, to the weakening of the guarantee institutions, to the impartiality of the supreme arbitration body represented by the presidency of the Republic. The institution that, more than any other, has preserved trust in public opinion. Likewise, it would be a mistake to support plans for legal reform which, under the heading “differentiated autonomy”, contribute to widening the economic-social gap between the north and south of the country. A vulnus inflicted on the principle of equality of rights for citizens wherever they reside in the national territory in accordance with the provisions of art. 3 of the Constitution.

These are just a few priorities. Others should be added. All priorities to be inscribed in the programmatic-value horizon to be assumed as the foundation and objective of a political action adequate to the challenges of the 21st century: Europeanism is the first choice for the support and development of culture, education, school (from kindergarten to higher, university and post-university education). In this double priority – Europe and culture – lies the heart of our very identity, of our humanism, according to a principle of fraternity, open to all and to all. we can desert and that we are not allowed to face lightly.

Maurizio Ambrosini, Celestina Antonacci, Enzo Balboni, Maria Cristina Bartolomei, Rosy Bindi, Maria Pia Bozzo, Luisa Broli, Luigino Bruni, Luciano Caimi, Fabio Caneri, Alessandro Castegnaro, Vannino Chiti, Don Luigi Ciotti, Don Virginio Colmegna, Giovanni Colombo, Paolo Corsini, Matteo Cosulich, Fulvio De Giorgi, Gian Candido De Martin, Giuseppe Elia, Guido Formigoni, Piero Grasso, Antonio Greco, Alberto Guariso, Martino Liva, Ivo Lizzola, Mimmo Lucà, Emiliano Manfredonia, Luigi Mapelli, David Mattiello, Eugenio Mazzarella, Pierluigi Mele, Margherita Miotto, Daniela Mazzuconi, Massimo Minelli, Franco Monaco, Sergio Parazzini, Savino Pezzotta, Giancarlo Piccinni, Luigi Pizzolato, Maurizio Portaluri, Franco Prandi, Franco Riboldi, Daniele Rocchetti, Emanuele Rossi, Laura Rozza Giuntella, Lucio Romano, Renata Storari, Maria Grazia Tanara, Chiara Tintori, Livia Turco, Roberto Zaccaria

When the elector is called to discern