Pope Francis Condemns ‘Imperialist, Nationalist, and Populist Visions’

Pope Francis holds his weekly general audience at the Paul VI hall in the Vatican on August 25, 2021. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP) (Photo by VINCENZO PINTO/AFP via Getty Images)

ROME — Pope Francis on Friday denounced the “childlike scenario” taking place in Ukraine, where leaders play “with fire, missiles, and bombs.”

“After two terrible world wars, a cold war that for decades kept the world in suspense, catastrophic conflicts taking place in every part of the globe, and in the midst of accusations, threats and condemnations, we continue to find ourselves on the brink of a delicate precipice,” the pontiff told leaders gathered in Bahrain for a “Forum for Dialogue.”

While most of the world struggles to overcome common difficulties, it is a striking paradox that “a few potentates are caught up in a resolute struggle for partisan interests, reviving obsolete rhetoric, redesigning spheres of influence and opposing blocs,” he declared, without naming names.

“We appear to be witnessing a dramatic and childlike scenario,” he continued, where “in the garden of humanity, instead of cultivating our surroundings, we are playing instead with fire, missiles and bombs, weapons that bring sorrow and death, covering our common home with ashes and hatred.”

“Such will be the bitter consequences if we continue to accentuate conflict instead of understanding, if we persist in stubbornly imposing our own models and despotic, imperialist, nationalist and populist visions,” he asserted.

This will happen “if we continue simplistically to divide people into good and bad, if we make no effort to understand one another and to cooperate for the good of all,” he said. “These are the choices before us since, in a globalized world, we only advance by rowing together; if we sail alone, we go adrift.”

“We want the divergences between East and West to be settled for the good of all, without distracting attention from another divergence that is constantly and dramatically increasing: the gap between the North and the South of the world,” Francis stated.

“And if different potentates deal with each other on the basis of interests, money and power plays, may we show that another path of encounter is possible,” he said. “Possible and necessary, since force, arms and money will never paint a future of peace.”

“I address to all my heartfelt appeal for an end to the war in Ukraine and the start of serious negotiations for peace,” he said.


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