The Bishops of Austria have responded to the “disturbing picture” drawn by the “Ibizagate” corruption scandal that brought down the Government of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

Where it stands

At the end of their Plenary Meeting this week, the Austrian prelates called for the investigation into the “Ibizagate” affair to proceed “quickly, transparently, and thoroughly”, so that voters can regain trust in their elected officials in the runup to elections in the country September 29.

Reflecting society’s “doubts about a fair election campaign”, the bishops call for a “detoxification” of political discourse and the “disarmament” of language.

“He who stylizes the political opponent as an enemy, who breaks the rules of fair competition and resorts to reprehensible means of manipulation and deception, is not only endangering the necessary political cooperation in the service of the common good after an election. At stake is ultimately the credibility of politics as a whole”, warn the prelates.

What’s next

The Austrian bishops call on politicians to have always as their highest goal the pursuit of the common good and on citizens to exercise their right to vote, in the year in which Austria, coincidently, celebrates 100 years of women’s suffrage.

“High voter turnout is the best guarantee of a vibrant democracy and of confidence in the political order”, recall the bishops.