Pope: Small nations must lead the charge against the ideology of the powerful
Pope Francis speaks during his general audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall on April 6, 2022. (CNS Photo/Paul Haring)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Small countries like Malta are called upon to set an example of true freedom in a world that can seem overwhelmed by powerful nations seeking to expand their own economic, military or ideological interests, said Pope Francis.
Reflecting on his recent visit to the Mediterranean archipelago during his weekly general audience on April 6, the pope said Malta “represents the rights and power of ‘small’ nations”, which exemplify respect, freedom and coexistence. who oppose the colonization of the most powerful.
“After the Second World War, attempts were made to lay the foundations for a new era of peace. But unfortunately, we never learn, do we? — the old story of great power competition continued. And, in the current war in Ukraine, we are witnessing the impotence of the United Nations,” he said.
Pope Francis told those present at the audience that the motto of his April 2-3 trip described the “unusual kindness” of the Maltese people when St. Paul was shipwrecked on the island nearly 2,000 years ago. years.
This “unusual kindness,” Pope Francis said, describes not only how countries should treat migrants today, but how countries should treat each other and everyone “so that the world becomes more fraternal, more livable and can be saved from “shipwreck”. ‘ which threatens us all.
Recalling his April 3 meeting with about 200 migrants at the John XXIII Peace Lab in Hal Far, the pope said Christians must never tire of listening to the testimonies of migrants so that they can counter the “distorted view that circulates often in the media. ”
“Each migrant is unique. He or she is not a number but a person,” he said. “Each one is unique, just like each of us. Each migrant is a worthy person, with roots, with a culture. Each of them is a bearer of a richness infinitely greater than the problems they bring.
The issue of migration, he continued, is “a sign of our times” that can become either “a sign of conflict” or “a sign of peace”.
“It depends on how we take it; it depends on us,” the pope said. “Those who gave life to the John XXIII Center in Malta made the Christian choice.”
Pope Francis has said that while he is grateful that Malta remains a “key place” for evangelization and Christian witness, it is not immune to the “wind of secularism, of a globalized culture based on consumerism, neo-capitalism and relativism”.
Yet her connection with Saint Paul as well as the devotion of the Maltese people to Mary continue to support evangelization and the “joyful proclamation of the Gospel”.
“The vocation of the Church is to evangelize. The joy of the Church is to evangelize,” the pope said. “Let us not forget it because it is the most beautiful definition of the Church.