By being non-partisan and using non-partisan language both in our advocacy for the poor and in social justice education, besides protecting the Society 501 (C3) status, we avoid alienating those persons who would otherwise be open to the substance of our message.
On the issues that we are dealing with, our constant effort is to seek solutions that go beyond the empty rhetoric of the right and the left and that gradually move society towards embracing the Common Good, with a preferential option for the poor.
Some identify this with being in the center, but the solutions that we are proposing are not of a partisan nature. Rather, they reflect the Love of neighbor that Jesus taught us.
Blessed Frederic Ozanam said “… there are Christians in every camp…” Indeed, Vincentians initially come from every camp. When becoming a Vincentian, however, it is important to move past the stereotypical thinking of whether one party is better than the other. We are party neutral, because we believe in the spiritual dimension of the public affairs of our city, our state and our country. Our public action is a ministry and to be an effective “Voice of the Poor”, active Vincentians need to be completely removed from partisan politics.
Yet, because we live in this world, in some of our analysis, we might have to be specific on who is responsible for what in politics. We will always do this through the lens of the Common Good and of what is important for the poor and vulnerable that we support, not for any other reason.
Our non-partisan positions do not guarantee that those at the extreme will not use insulting partisan language against us. Think about it, they used it against Jesus…
A non-partisan attitude allows us to live our faith without distractions and make the Gospel alive in the modern world; it is a good way to live the Vincentian call to meet Jesus in the poor and, through advocacy, to serve Jesus by bringing justice and restoring the dignity of those who suffer.
This is a time of confusion, and there are many people with material needs and in need of love. There are many people filled with inner pain, and there are many people filled with anger and disgust. It is only by asking Jesus’ assistance, guidance and grace that we will be able to carry out our public ministry, showing kindness, goodness and respect for all.