09/20/2018, 15.35
VATICAN
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Pope: 'spread and exploitation of xenophobia and racism is very serious'

"The gravity of these phenomena cannot leave us indifferent. We are all called, in our respective roles, to cultivate and promote respect for the intrinsic dignity of every human person, starting from the family – the place where we learn from a tender age the values ​​of sharing, acceptance, fraternity and solidarity - but also in the various social contexts in which we operate ".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - It is serious that xenophobia and racism are spreading and that "in the world of politics we give in to the temptation to exploit the fears or the objective difficulties of some groups and to use illusory promises for short-sighted electoral interests".

These attitudes "that seriously damage the dignity of the people involved and their fundamental rights" were condemned by Pope Francis in his address to participants in the World Conference on Xenophobia, Racism, and Populist Nationalism in the context of Global Migration, underway September 18 to 20 in Rome. The Conference is promoted by the Department for the Integral Human Development Service and by the World Council of Churches (WCC), in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

The Pope greeted the audience and delivered the speech in which he underlined the responsibility of "making and inspiring gestures that contribute to building societies founded on the principle of the sacredness of human life and respect for the dignity of every person, on charity, on fraternity - which goes far beyond tolerance - and on solidarity ".

Francis emphasized that "We are living in times when sentiments which many deemed to have been overcome are coming back to life. Sentiments of suspicion, of fear, of contempt and even of hatred towards individuals or groups judged different by reason of their ethnic, national or religious affiliation and, as such, deemed not worthy enough to participate fully in the life of society. These sentiments, too often, inspire real acts of intolerance, discrimination or exclusion, which seriously damage the dignity of the people involved and their fundamental rights, including the right to life and to physical and moral integrity. Unfortunately, it is also the case that the world of politics gives in to the temptation to exploit the fears or the objective difficulties of some groups and to use illusory promises for short-sighted electoral interests ".

"The gravity of these phenomena cannot leave us indifferent. We are all called, in our respective roles, to cultivate and promote respect for the intrinsic dignity of every human person, starting from the family – the place where we learn from a tender age the values ​​of sharing, acceptance, fraternity and solidarity - but also in the various social contexts in which we operate ".

It is a responsibility that concerns formators and educators and "those who work in the world of social communications, who have the duty to place themselves at the service of the truth and disseminate information taking care to foster a culture of encounter and openness to the other, in mutual respect for diversity ".

"Those, then, who derive economic benefit from the climate of distrust in the foreigner, where the irregularity or illegality of their permanence favors and nourishes a system of precariousness and exploitation - sometimes at a level that gives rise to real forms of slavery - should carry out a profound examination of conscience, in the awareness that one day they will have to account before God for the choices they have made ".

The Pope then affirmed that even the leaders of "all religions" have the important mission of spreading "the ethical principles and values ​​inscribed by God in the heart of man, known as the natural moral law". "In particular, may the Christian Churches must be humble and industrious witnesses to the love of Christ. For Christians, in fact, the moral responsibilities mentioned above assume an even deeper meaning in the light of faith ".

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