Five things to remember from the Pope's speech for the closing of the Mediterranean Meetings

Five things to remember from the Pope’s speech for the closing of the Mediterranean Meetings

1. “The Mediterranean must be a laboratory of peace” like Marseille, “smile of the Mediterranean”

The Holy Father thus recalls the vocation of this place of exchange, where different realities meet and sometimes collide. For him, these realities, as diverse as they are, must above all be considered with humanity. Here, no “opposing ideologies”, “but two varied thoughts which build the community of nations. The Pope added: “Marseille, smile of the Mediterranean, is the capital of the integration of the poor.”

2. “It takes a surge of conscience to say “no” to illegality and “yes” to solidarity”

To build this peace, Francis urges all citizens of the world to say no to “illegality”. He therefore calls on everyone to mobilize to fight against “material, educational, professional and religious poverty”, the breeding ground for crime. Strong words spoken in Marseille, a city where deadly shootings and score-settling linked to drug trafficking are frequent. The Pope enjoins everyone to “commit themselves so that those who are part of society can become full citizens of it.”

3. “Let us consider those who take refuge among us as brothers and not as burdens to bear (…) History calls us to a surge of conscience to prevent a shipwreck of civilization”

As World Migrant and Refugee Day approaches, September 24, Francis recalled the three duties of nations developed by Saint Paul VI. Those of solidarity, social justice and finally charity. Despite “the difficulties of reception, protection, promotion and integration” that may exist, the Pope urged people not to “close themselves in indifference”. “Integration is difficult, but clear-sighted: it prepares the future which, whether we like it or not, will happen together or not.” Francis insisted: “the solution is not to reject” people seeking asylum. The responsibility of the institutions and the cooperation of all countries is underlined: there must be a “fair welcome from the European continent, within the framework of collaboration with the countries of origin”.

4. “The port of Marseille is also a “gate of faith””

To conclude this speech, the pope recalled the importance of sharing the Gospel, so that the Church is a “port for discouraged people”. “As Christians, we are called to witness: not to embroider the Gospel with words but to give it flesh. »

5. “Young people are the light that shows the road to the future”

Addressing young people, particularly those who participated in the Mediterranean Meetings, Francis recalled the importance of education, particularly university, to fight against fanaticism. “May Mediterranean universities be laboratories of dreams and sites for the future, where young people grow. » Meeting the Other must begin in childhood to “overcome barriers and prejudices”.

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