09/23/2018, 11.11
VATICAN – LITHUANIA
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Pope in the Baltic States: The Gospel of Christ makes the globalisation of solidarity real

During the Angelus in Kaunas, Pope Francis called on the faithful to pay attention to "the outcast and [. . .] minorities. In this way, we can keep far from our lives and our cultures the possibility of destroying one another, of marginalizing, of continuing to discard whatever we find troublesome or uncomfortable." He has a special thought for the Jewish community, and will visit the site of the Vilnius ghetto, which was destroyed 75 years ago.

Kaunas (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis recited the Angelus at the end of the Mass in Santakos Park, Kaunas, before a huge crowd. Just prior to the recitation, he said that “If power had to do with this, if we could allow the Gospel of Jesus Christ to reach the depths of our lives, then the ‘globalization of solidarity’ would be a reality.”

Yesterday, Francis described Lithuania as a country that can welcome differences, serve as a model of coexistence for the international community, especially the European Union, given the peaceful presence of so many minorities.

“Here in Lithuania, you have a hill of crosses, where thousands of people, over the centuries, have planted the sign of the cross. I ask you, as we now pray the Angelus, to beg Mary to help us all to plant our own cross, the cross of our service and commitment to the needs of others, on that hill where the poor dwell, where care and concern are needed for the outcast and for minorities. In this way, we can keep far from our lives and our cultures the possibility of destroying one another, of marginalizing, of continuing to discard whatever we find troublesome or uncomfortable.”

The opposite of this attitude is that of the ungodly “who oppress the poor, who have no compassion for the widow and show no respect to the elderly.”

“The ungodly claim to believe that ‘power is the norm of justice’. They dominate the weak, use their power to impose a way of thinking, an ideology, a prevailing mindset. They use violence or repression to subject those who simply by their honest, straightforward, hardworking and companionable everyday life show that a different kind of world, a different kind of society, is possible. The ungodly are not content with doing anything they like, giving into their every whim; they do not want others, by doing good, to show them up for who they are. In the ungodly, evil is always trying to destroy good.”

The pope went on to say that “Seventy-five years ago, this nation witnessed the final destruction of the Vilnius Ghetto; this was the climax of the killing of thousands of Jews that had started two years earlier. As we read in the Book of Wisdom, the Jewish people suffered insults and cruel punishments.”

“This afternoon,” he announced, “I will pray before the Monument to the Victims of the Ghetto in Vilnius [. . .]. May the Most High bless dialogue and the shared commitment for justice and peace.”

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