Emergency ecumenism

May 13, 2016-Reading time: < 1 minute

The remarkable novelty of Pope Francis' visit to the refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos is not only in his message of mercy. It is also a truly ecumenical journey.

In its very quick trip to Lesbos -he was on the island for only five hours-, Pope Francis has given us an important testimony on the humanitarian emergency of refugees. The then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote several times that in Europe we are moving back towards a form of "neo-paganism", and explained that one of the characteristics of ancient paganism was "insensitivity". It was Christianity that taught us to pity and to consider the suffering other as our "neighbor". Now, in our old Continent, less and less Christian, we see and read reactions from so-called Christian leaders, and also from other people, characterized by this "insensitivity".

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