(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received a group of lawmakers on Sunday, who are in Rome for a meeting of the International Catholic Legislators Network.
Founded in 2010 by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna and British parliamentarian Lord David Alton, the ICLN brings together Catholic legislators to discuss issues of common concern and share ideas about how best to bring their common faith to bear on their work in favor of the common good.
Pope Francis to ICLN: be guided by Church’s moral and social doctrine
In his remarks to the legislators, Pope Francis noted the broad spectrum of political opinion represented by the legislators taking part, as well as their increased number with respect to previous years.
“As long as the contribution of the Church to the great questions of society in our time can be put into discussion,” said Pope Francis, “it is vital that your commitment be constantly pervaded by her moral and social teachings, in order to build a more humane and just society.”
The Holy Father went on to say, “The laws that you promulgate and apply ought to build bridges between different political perspectives: even when they respond to precise ends ordered to the promotion of greater care for the defenseless and the marginalized, especially the many who are constrained to leave their countries; and when they are in order to favor a correct human and natural ecology.”
Participants encouraged by experience
“We have an opportunity to meet here with other Catholic legislators and elected officials from other parts of the world, and to discuss common concerns – problems, opportunities – for our faith, and how to work together and support each other,” Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) of the United States Congress, who is one of the participants in this year’s meeting of the ICLN, told Vatican Media in an exclusive interview ahead of the meeting with Pope Francis.
Mooney went on to say that the ICLN gathering has been for him a heartening experience.
“It’s very inspiration to see how people are fighting for family values,” he said, “it’s just more encouraging to see faithful Catholics from every country promoting the values of the Church.”