Pope Francis Condemns ‘Isolationism, Individualism’ in Davos Message

Pope Francis looks on during the morning session, on the second day of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region on October 8, 2019 in the Vatican. - Pope Francis is gathering Catholic bishops at the Vatican to champion the isolated and poverty-struck indigenous communities …
ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images

ROME — Pope Francis has sent a message to the World Economic Forum at Davos Tuesday, condemning the isolationism and individualism that “characterizes too much contemporary debate.”

“All too often materialistic or utilitarian visions, sometimes hidden, sometimes celebrated, lead to practices and structures motivated largely, or even solely, by self-interest,” the pope said, in reiterating his firm belief in multilateralism.

The pontiff praised the World Economic Forum, saying it has “provided an arena where political will and mutual cooperation can be guided and strengthened in overcoming the isolationism, individualism and ideological colonization that sadly characterizes too much contemporary debate.”

“This typically views others as a means to an end and entails a lack of solidarity and charity, which in turn gives rise to real injustice, whereas a truly integral human development can only flourish when all members of the human family are included in, and contribute to, pursuing the common good,” he said. “In seeking genuine progress, let us not forget that to trample upon the dignity of another person is in fact to weaken one’s own worth.”

Francis also said that the overriding consideration behind good decision-making is “that we are all members of the one human family.”

“The moral obligation to care for one another flows from this fact, as does the correlative principle of placing the human person, rather than the mere pursuit of power or profit, at the very centre of public policy,” he said.

Last month the pope stated that a multilateral and globalist approach to geopolitics is the key to world peace.

“Trust in dialogue between people and between nations, in multilateralism, in the role of international organizations, in diplomacy as an instrument for comprehension and understanding, is indispensable for building a peaceful world,” Francis said in a video-message recorded in the company of António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations.

“It is necessary to recognize ourselves as members of a single humanity and take care of our earth that, generation after generation, has been entrusted to us by God in custody so that we cultivate it and leave it in inheritance to our children,” Francis said.

“The commitment to reduce contaminating emissions and for an integral ecology is urgent and necessary: ​​let us do something before it is too late,” he added.

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