The Pope criticizes that “the European Union is torn by nationalist egoism” | International

Pope Francis, with Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, at the presidential palace in Athens this Saturday.POOL (Reuters)

The Pope landed in Athens this Saturday morning after a two-day tour of Cyprus. In front of the President of the Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, and members of the Greek government, François delivered his most political speech for a long time. A long and somewhat dramatic speech that touched on the dangerous advance of populism, the environment, its vision against euthanasia, the defense of reception in the phenomenon of immigration and, above all, the crisis of democracy. All this citing the founding fathers of the European Union like Alcide De Gasperi and those of old Europe, the Greek thinkers who created the embryo of politics. And the outlook, according to Francisco, is not very encouraging. “We cannot fail to note with concern that today, not only on the European continent, there is a decline in democracy,” he said during the second leg of his trip.

Francisco is generally subtle and somewhat ambiguous in his speeches when traveling internationally. Vatican diplomacy obliges. And it often takes a lot of interpretation to read them between the lines. This time, however, it was not necessary. “Democracy is complex, while authoritarianism is hasty and the easy promises offered by populism are alluring. In various societies, concerned about security and anesthetized by consumerism, fatigue and discomfort, they lead to a kind of democratic skepticism, ”he stressed. The solution, says Francisco, can be found “in good politics and not in the obsessive search for popularity, in the thirst for visibility, in the proclamation of impossible promises or in adherence to abstract ideological colonizations”. A precise definition of what the populist leadership has been in recent years, also in places like Italy.

The pope’s salutes also reached the European Union. Francisco has always defended its usefulness, but without losing sight of its roots and the ideas of the founding fathers. Today, she believes, “she is torn by nationalist egoism”. “More than a solidarity train, it is sometimes blocked and uncoordinated. If in the past ideological contrasts prevented the building of bridges between the East and the West of the continent, today the migration issue has also opened up ditches between the South and the North ”.

Francisco also wanted to launch an appeal to reverse this situation, in particular in migration issues: to the possibilities of each country, to be welcomed, protected, promoted and integrated with full respect for their human rights and their dignity. More than an obstacle for the present, it represents a guarantee for the future, so that it is a sign of peaceful coexistence for those who are forced to flee in search of a home and hope, and which are more and more numerous. They are the protagonists of a terrible modern odyssey ”.

The other great battle of Francisco, printed in black on white in the environmental encyclical Laudato Si ‘ (published in 2015), also had space in his words, which sounded like a clear reminder of the recent climate summits. Especially the COP26 in Glasgow, where the agreements were not particularly ambitious and, moreover, there is no guarantee that they will be respected, as has happened before. “I want the commitments made in the fight against climate change to be more and more shared and not to be a facade, but to be carried out in earnest; let words follow deeds, so that children do not once again pay for the hypocrisy of parents ”.

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