The Vatican

Pope denounces "attempts by international forums to impose a single way of thinking".

The Holy Father's address to the diplomatic corps addressed topics such as the right to life, religious freedom, ideological totalitarianism and condemnation of the global arms race.

Maria José Atienza-January 9, 2023-Reading time: 4 minutes
pope francisco diplomats

The Blessing Room hosted the Audience of the Members of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See for the presentation of New Year's greetings to Pope Francis.

A wide-ranging speech in both length and content. The meeting of Pope Francis with the members of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See was the scene of an "invocation for peace in a world that sees divisions and wars growing" as the Pope wanted to point out.

The Pope once again referred to the third world war that we are currently experiencing "in pieces" and wanted to recall the key points of the Encyclical Pacem in terris of St. John XXIII, which is now 60 years old and, unfortunately, is still very relevant today.

Pope Francis wanted to frame his speech in the context of the sixtieth anniversary of the Encyclical Pacem in Terris of St. John XXIII. As the pontiff wanted to point out, the nuclear threat that then loomed over the world "is still evoked today, plunging the world into fear" and he directly pointed out his concern about "the stalemate in the negotiations on the resumption of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Agreement on the Iranian nuclear program".

"Today the third world war is underway in a globalized world, in which conflicts seem to directly affect only some areas of the planet, but which substantially involve everyone," the Pope pointed out. In this war in pieces, the Pope recalled the current conflict in Syria, the increase in violence between Palestinians and Israelis, the situation in the southern Caucasus, the dramas experienced by the populations of Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria and the situation in Myanmar. In all of them, the Pope denounced, "the lethal consequences of a continuous recourse to the production of armaments are always highlighted", a reality in the face of which Francis categorically affirmed that "no peace is possible where instruments of death proliferate".

Abortion, a violent attack on peace and the dignity of life

The Pope wanted to follow the four "fundamental goods" contained in Pacen in terris: truth, justice, solidarity and freedom.

With regard to the first, Peace in truth, the Pope pointed out that "peace demands that above all life be defended, a good that today is endangered not only by conflicts, hunger and disease, but all too often even in the womb, affirming a presumed "right to abortion."

A clear condemnation of abortion and antinatalist policies was repeated in the Pope's speech, which pointed out the "'fear' of life, which in many places is translated as fear of the future and of the future of the Church. difficulties in starting a family or having children" and that leads to the reality of a demographic winter, such as the European one, which is difficult to bear in a welfare state.

In this regard, the Pope wanted to make "an appeal to the consciences of men and women of good will, particularly those with political responsibilities, to work to protect the rights of the weakest and to eradicate the culture of discarding, which unfortunately also includes the sick, the disabled and the elderly".

Denouncing ideological totalitarianism

Perhaps one of the strongest points of this year's address to diplomats was the Pope's denunciation of the lack of freedom in the world. The Pontiff went beyond the "known" shortcomings of to denounce the "growing polarizations and attempts in various international forums to impose a unique way of thinkingThis prevents dialogue and marginalizes those who think differently".

Faced with the representatives of various nations of the world, the Holy Father pointed to "an ideological totalitarianism that promotes intolerance towards those who do not adhere to supposed positions of 'progress'" and that employs "more and more resources to impose, especially on the poorest countries, forms of ideological colonization, creating, moreover, a direct link between the granting of economic aid and the acceptance of such ideologies".

Nor did the Pope want to forget the ideologization to which the educational system has been subjected in many countries that try to impose educational laws that violate the freedom of conscience and belief of families. The Pope recalled that "education always requires full respect for the person and for his or her natural physiognomy, avoiding imposing a new and different confused vision of the human being".

Religious freedom, one of the issues that most concerns the Pope today, also played a part in this speech. In this regard, Francis recalled that "one-third of the world's population lives in a world in which persecution because of their faith. Along with the lack of religious freedom there is also persecution on religious grounds."

The Pope has put the spotlight on violence and the discrimination against Christians that occur not only in places where Christians are in the minority but "where believers the possibility of expressing their own convictions is reduced. in the sphere of social life, in the name of a misinterpretation of inclusion. Religious freedom, which cannot be reduced to mere freedom of worship, is one of the minimum requirements necessary to live in dignity".

Migration, labor and care for the planet

Finally, following the line expressed in documents such as Fratelli Tutti or Laudato Si', the pontiff wanted to emphasize "three areas, in which the interconnectedness that unites humanity today emerges with particular force": migration, work and economy and care for the planet.

With regard to migration, Francis again called for "strengthening the normative framework, through the approval of the New Pact on Migration and Asylum, so that adequate policies can be implemented to welcome, accompany, promote and integrate migrants.

At the same time, he called for "giving dignity to the company and to work, combating all forms of exploitation that end up treating workers in the same way as a commodity" and, finally, he recalled the negative effects that climate change is having on the most vulnerable populations.

The Pope closed his speech by pointing out "the weakening, in many parts of the world, of democracy and the possibility of freedom" and launched an almost utopian wish "it would be beautiful if sometime we could meet only to thank the omnipotent Lord for the benefits he always grants us, without being obliged to enumerate the dramatic situations that afflict humanity" before thanking the diplomatic representatives gathered there.  

Read more
La Brújula Newsletter Leave us your email and receive every week the latest news curated with a catholic point of view.
Banner advertising
Banner advertising