Pope: forgetting wars is shameful
Francis received in audience PIME for the 150th anniversary of Mondo e Missione, the institute’s magazine whose experience led to AsiaNews. Their mission is “to give a voice to the hope that the encounter with Christ sows in the life of people and populations.” At the end, he blessed “your readers and supporters”.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis today met in audience at the Clementine Hall, in the Vatican, with members and associates of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Mondo e Missione (World and Mission), the institute’s magazine whose experience led to AsiaNews.
Our editorial staff was present at the meeting and we gave the Pope a photograph of Father Leone Nani, PIME missionary and photographer in China from the early 20th century.
In his address, the pontiff said that, “Forgotten wars, it is shameful to forget them like that," especially when they go on for years.
“Today we are all worried, and it is right that we should be, about a war here in Europe, at the door of Europe and in Europe, but there have been wars for years: for more than ten years in Syria, think of Yemen, think of Myanmar, think of Africa. These don’t come to mind; they are not in cultured Europe”.
Speaking about the origins of Mondo e Missione, established in 1872 in Milan along the model of Les Missions Catholiques, which the Pontifical Mission Societies began to publish some years earlier in Lyon (France), Francis noted that, “from the very beginning [it] expresses and promotes an outgoing Church. Yes, when you are outgoing, you stay young. If you stay sitting there, without moving, you age quickly!”
“These pioneers from 150 years ago understood the importance of making known the countries to which they were destined and the way in which, in those distant lands, the encounter between the Gospel and the local communities took place. From the very beginning, therefore, the magazine was the bearer of a broad outlook, open to the riches of each people and each local Church.”
The pope pointed to the "geographical and existential peripheries" where the magazine can be "the voice of the voiceless." Above all, “in a world where communication has seemingly shortened distances, [such places] continue to remain relegated to the margins. The distances have been shortened, it is true, but the ideological barriers have multiplied.
“And so, the challenge still becomes to go there to make known the beauty and richness of the differences, but also the many distortions and injustices of societies that are increasingly interconnected and at the same time marked by serious inequalities.”
For the pontiff, Mondo e Missione and AsiaNews are also tasked with “helping to recognise the mission is at the centre. To recognise that the mission is at the centre. To remind Christian communities that if they look only at themselves, losing the courage to go out and take the word of Jesus to everyone, they end up extinguishing themselves. To show how the Gospel, by meeting diverse peoples and cultures, is given back to us every day in its newness and freshness.”
This means giving “a voice to the hope that the encounter with Christ sows in the life of people and populations. To say to everyone that a better world is possible, when following Jesus we learn to reach out to every brother and sister.”
Finally, Francis concluded saying: “I bless you from my heart, and I also bless your readers and supporters, and ask you to please, pray for me.”