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Patron Saint of Politicians to be Named

"the King's good servant, but God's first." -- St Thomas More
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Dateline 10/28/00

Just in time to help with the November 7th elections, politicians will pick up some spiritual support next week.

In a bulletin released on Thursday, Oct. 26, at the Vatican, officials of the Holy See announced that Pope John Paul would name St Thomas More the "patron of statesmen and politicians" on October 31.

More is considered to be one of the foremost statesmen in English history. When he refused to recognize King Henry VIII's claim to supremacy over religion in 1535, the King ended debate on the matter by having More imprisoned. During his imprisonment, More is said to have declared himself, "the King's good servant, but God's first." So impressed was Henry VIII. that he had More beheaded. 

Named a saint of the Catholic Church in 1935, More is more widely recognized as "A Man for All Seasons," and author of the classic "Utopia" written in 1516.

Speaking at an Oct, 26 press conference, Britain's Lord Alton lauded St More as the perfect choice to be the patron of people who must often make compromises in order to survive politically. 

"There should be no dichotomy, no double personality, no breaking of the link between the public and private,'' Lord Alton reminded politicians.

Alton continued, "In our own times, political life is so often about personal aggrandizement and advantage. Its participants pursue careers rather than causes."

Urging modern politicians to represent the public from a desire to serve the common good, Lord Alton suggested that were St Thomas More alive today, he would be apposed to laws that encourage abortion.

"Today," concluded Lord Alton, "you take your cue from the electronic pager, tailor your remarks to the demands of party managers, and never mind conscience, just think about preferment and the patronage which awaits you."


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