Skip to comments.Pope Francis to diplomatic corps: a glimpse at his program?
Posted on 03/22/2013 11:58:50 AM PDT by NYer
His Holiness Pope Francis gave an address to the diplomatic corps which deserves attention:
As you know, there are various reasons why I chose the name of Francis of Assisi, a familiar figure far beyond the borders of Italy and Europe, even among those who do not profess the Catholic faith. One of the first reasons was Francis love for the poor. How many poor people there still are in the world! And what great suffering they have to endure! After the example of Francis of Assisi, the Church in every corner of the globe has always tried to care for and look after those who suffer from want, and I think that in many of your countries you can attest to the generous activity of Christians who dedicate themselves to helping the sick, orphans, the homeless and all the marginalized, thus striving to make society more humane and more just.
But there is another form of poverty! It is the spiritual poverty of our time, which afflicts the so-called richer countries particularly seriously. It is what my much-loved predecessor, Benedict XVI, called the “tyranny of relativism”, [It is good that he cites his predecessor. I suspect Pope Francis will lean heavily on Benedict's work.] which makes everyone his own criterion and endangers the coexistence of peoples. And that brings me to a second reason for my name. Francis of Assisi tells us we should work to build peace. But there is no true peace without truth! There cannot be true peace if everyone is his own criterion, if everyone can always claim exclusively his own rights, without at the same time caring for the good of others, of everyone, on the basis of the nature that unites every human being on this earth.
One of the titles of the Bishop of Rome is Pontiff, that is, a builder of bridges with God and between people. My wish is that the dialogue between us should help to build bridges connecting all people, in such a way that everyone can see in the other not an enemy, not a rival, but a brother or sister to be welcomed and embraced! My own origins impel me to work for the building of bridges. As you know, my family is of Italian origin; and so this dialogue between places and cultures a great distance apart matters greatly to me, this dialogue between one end of the world and the other, which today are growing ever closer, more interdependent, more in need of opportunities to meet and to create real spaces of authentic fraternity.
In this work, the role of religion is fundamental. It is not possible to build bridges between people while forgetting God. But the converse is also true: it is not possible to establish true links with God, while ignoring other people. Hence it is important to intensify dialogue among the various religions, and I am thinking particularly of dialogue with Islam. At the Mass marking the beginning of my ministry, I greatly appreciated the presence of so many civil and religious leaders from the Islamic world. And it is also important to intensify outreach to non-believers, so that the differences which divide and hurt us may never prevail, but rather the desire to build true links of friendship between all peoples, despite their diversity.
Fighting poverty, both material and spiritual, building peace and constructing bridges: these, as it were, are the reference points for a journey that I want to invite each of the countries here represented to take up. [This could be the program of his pontificate.] But it is a difficult journey, if we do not learn to grow in love for this world of ours. Here too, it helps me to think of the name of Francis, who teaches us profound respect for the whole of creation and the protection of our environment, which all too often, instead of using for the good, we exploit greedily, to one anothers detriment.
Been very happy with Pope Francis so far but this gives me pause...
St. Francis’s “dialogue with Islam” involved inviting the Sultan to convert to Christianity. A number of other early Franciscans were martyred in missionary efforts to Moslems.
Been very happy with Pope Francis so far but this gives me pause...
A couple months ago our [Catholic] parish had a “Getting to know your Muslim neighbor and understanding Islam better” presentation [and gathering afterwards]. We did not go; not sure how many attended.
Thanks for the suggestion! One of the first steps in my conversion to Catholicism was buying a book about St. Clare from the Sisters of St. Paul bookstore in San Antonio.
I don't see anything wrong with that. If you have a Moslem neighbor, getting to know him is a good idea, just as knowing your Christian or Buddhist or Hindu neighbor is a good idea. You might want to borrow his lawnmower or ask him to feed your cats when you're on vacation (or vice-versa). And understanding Islam better has obvious practical value as Islam arrives in practically everyone's neighborhood.
Thanks for posting but I’m a lifelong active and devout Catholic, well aquaintewd with St Francis of Assisi. But we’re not talking about St Francis visiting the Sultan, we’re talking about the Pope talking nicey nice with the most blod thirsty, malicious, warped and evil ideology on the planet. I would rather hear my Pope demand that islamists stop murdering Christians and raping and kidnapping Christian young girls. I would like to see him standing up for the rights of Catholics and other Christians to freely practise their Faith everywhere and anywhere in the world. islamic savages are burning Churches full of worshippers, raping little girls, persecuting missionaries all over the world. Let’s address that before we talk about making friends and building bridges with islam. The Pope’s comments, if accurately reported, are dangerously naive!
Time to confess, Pope. The Catholic Church’s social service program in Connecticut was Obama’s legal custodian from 1971 to 1979. Only foreign national children were allowed in the program.
Obama is an usurper and the Church is aiding and abetting treason against the United States.
And would seem to continue the misguided ecumenism of Vatican II.
You left out my Zoroastrian neighbor and the Zombie neighbor, for that matter.
Oooh, sounds like you live in a fun neighborhood!
I get what you’re saying. It is hard to imagine having a conversation with these rabidly radical jihadists that doesn’t include all of those accusations.
I think, though that any conversation with them by Pope Francis would indeed include exhortations against that behavior, but probably a little more diplomatically stated.
Let’s give him a chance and see where he goes with it.
No, I was kidding; it isn’t really that worldly. But the neighborhood has gone from 95% “white-European” to about 70% and the rest Hispanic in the last 14 years. One of the ‘original’ Hispanics is the Godmother for our two girls. The newer Hispanics are mostly OK also but they leave their parakeets outside when it’s too cold and the birds keel over one after another ( as a long time keeper of budgies I hate to see that).
One of my friends from Puerto Rico keeps parakeets, but she has a sunroom.