ROME — Pope Francis railed against systemic injustice Tuesday in an address to members of the World Jewish Congress in the Vatican.
“How many human beings, created in the image and likeness of God, are violated in their dignity as the result of the injustice that racks our world and represents the underlying cause of so many conflicts, the swamp that breeds wars and violence!” the pontiff exclaimed.
“The One who created all things with order and harmony urges us to reclaim this swamp of injustice that engulfs fraternal coexistence in the world, even as environmental devastations compromise the health of the earth,” he urged.
During his address, the pope also underscored “the bonds of friendship” uniting Jews and Catholics, noting that the two faith traditions “share priceless spiritual treasures.”
“We profess faith in the Maker of heaven and earth, who not only created humanity, but forms every human being in his own image and likeness,” he declared. “We believe that the Almighty has not remained distant from his creation, but has revealed himself, not communicating only with an isolated few, but addressing us as a people.”
Pope Francis called attention to suffering around the world Friday, but made no reference to injustices under China’s Communist regime. https://t.co/8xVXERHu7O
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Our two faith communities “are entrusted with the task of working to make the world more fraternal, combatting forms of inequality and promoting greater justice, so that peace will not remain an otherworldly promise, but become a present reality in our world,” he stated.
Religious faith contributes greatly to the quest for justice, he insisted, since mere earthly interests “are always immediate and shortsighted, marked by self-interest and incapable of embracing the whole.”
Today in many parts of the world, “peace is threatened,” he asserted, underscoring in particular “the conflict in Ukraine, a great and sacrilegious war that is threatening Jews and Christians alike, depriving them of their loved ones, their homes, their property and their very lives!”
“Only with a serious resolve to draw closer to one another and in fraternal dialogue is it possible to lay the groundwork for peace,” he said. “As Jews and Christians, let us seek to do all that is humanly possible in order to put an end to war and to pave paths of peace.”