The Pope has landed in Athens this Saturday morning after a two-day visit to Cyprus. Before the President of the Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, and the members of the Greek Government, Francisco has raised his most political speech in a long time. A long and somewhat dramatic speech that has 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 of this citing the founding fathers of the European Union, such as Alcide De Gasperi, and those of old Europe, the Greek thinkers who created the embryo of politics. And the outlook, Francisco believes, is not very encouraging. “One cannot fail to note with concern how today, not only on the European continent, there is a decline in democracy,” he launched at the second stop of his trip.
Francisco is usually subtle and somewhat ambiguous in his speeches during international travel. Vatican diplomacy obliges. And it often takes a good deal of interpretation to read them between the lines. This time, however, it was not necessary. “Democracy is complex, while authoritarianism is expeditious and the easy promises proposed by populisms are attractive. In various societies, concerned about security and anesthetized by consumerism, fatigue and discomfort, they lead to a kind of democratic skepticism ”, he pointed out. The solution, Francisco believes, is 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 adhering 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 volleys have also reached the European Union. Francisco has always defended its usefulness, but without losing sight of his roots and the ideas of the founding fathers. Today, she considers, “it is torn by nationalistic selfishness.” “More than being a solidarity train, it is sometimes blocked and uncoordinated. If at one time the ideological contrasts prevented the construction of bridges between the East and the West of the continent, today the migratory issue has also opened gaps between the South and the North ”.
Francisco also wanted to make a call to reverse this situation, especially in migration issues: “I would like to once again urge a joint, community vision of the migration issue, and encourage attention to be directed to those most in need so that, according to the possibilities of each country, be welcomed, protected, promoted and integrated in full respect of their human rights and dignity. More than an obstacle for the present, this represents a guarantee for the future, so that it is a sign of a peaceful coexistence for those who are forced to flee in search of a home and hope, and who are more and more numerous. They are the protagonists of a terrible modern odyssey ”.
Francisco’s other great battle, printed black on white in the environmental encyclical Laudato Si’ (published in 2015), also had space in his words, which sounded like a clear reminder about the latest climate summits. Especially COP26 in Glasgow, where the agreements were not particularly ambitious and, furthermore, there is no guarantee that they will be respected, as has already happened before. “I want the commitments made in the fight against climate change to be shared more and more and not to be a facade, but to be carried out seriously; that the words follow the deeds, so that the children do not pay once again the hypocrisy of the parents ”.
Follow all the international information at Facebook and Twitter, o en our weekly newsletter.
Join EL PAÍS now to follow all the news and read without limits