Archbishop of Agrigento’s letter to new mayors: “Promote the common good”

The Archbishop of Agrigento, Alessandro Damiano, has decided to write a letter to the newly elected mayors of his province, to “share some thoughts that are swirling around in my head” and he does so by also quoting the Letter of James and Gaudium et spes.

“Dear mayors and members of the newly elected city councils of Alessandria della Rocca, Caltabellotta, Campobello di Licata, Naro, Racalmuto, and Sant’Elisabetta, my wish for peace and all good goes out to all of you; “Every good gift and every perfect gift – as the Bible reminds us – come from above and descend from the Father, the creator of light” (Letter of James 1, 17).

I thought of writing to you not a ready-made “recipe” or an “instruction booklet” on good governance. It is neither my task nor my intention. I just want to knock on your door to share with you, almost “out loud,” some thoughts that are swirling around in my head. I do this of course as bishop of this Agrigento diocese, but also as a citizen who cares about his sisters and brothers in humanity. Both the Christian and political and civil community share “a passion for man,” for the whole man – for the integral man – and for every man, with his own very concrete and unique face, together “with the care and promotion of the common good.””

“Man – he continues in the letter – teaches the Church’s social doctrine in the wake of the Bible, is created in the image and likeness of God. Man is a “connection” of relationships within a vertical relational network with God and horizontal with human and non-human creatures.

But what does “common good” concretely mean? The Church’s Magisterium gives us an answer: “all the conditions of social life that allow groups, as well as individual members, to achieve their own perfection more fully and quickly” (Gaudium et spes, 26). Tending to a beautiful and good environment, oxygenated with respect and care for every creature is the common good, it is an integral human and humanizing ecology.”

Finally, the archbishop recommends: “Only by prioritizing the “common good” over personal gain or that of a part, can we truly and laboriously build, day by day, the “city of men,” so that it may be a city that is increasingly lovable and inhabitable, human and humanizing.

With these feelings and reflections, I wish you a good and fruitful work. May you, with God’s help, be weavers of good, healthy, healing relationships, and therefore, be weavers of hope!”

Amministrative, la lettera dell’arcivescovo di Agrigento ai nuovi sindaci: «Promuovere il bene comune»

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