05/25/2018, 11.22
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Pope: it is 'lies and nonsense' to equate terrorism and Islamism

In an interview with the "Eco di Bergamo", Francis says that Pope John was a man and a saint "who did not know the word enemy ", who "always sought what unites", aware that "the Church is called to serve man as such and not only Catholics; to defend above all and everywhere the rights of the human person and not only those of the Catholic Church".

Rome (AsiaNews) - The equation between terrorism and Islamism is "a lie and a nonsense". This was stated by Pope Francis in an interview with the "Eco di Bergamo", on the occasion of the "provisional" return of the remains of John XXIII to his native land, Sotto il Monte and in the diocese of Bergamo, as of yesterday to June 10th.

Pope John, says Francis, was a man and a saint " who did not know the word enemy ", who "always sought what unites", aware that "the Church is called to serve man as such and not only Catholics; to defend above all and everywhere the rights of the human person and not only those of the Catholic Church".

In the interview Francis reiterates that "Christianity is not an ideal to follow, a philosophy to adhere to or a moral to be applied", but "an encounter with Jesus Christ that makes us recognize his very presence in the flesh of our brothers and sisters". It is arriving at the "heart" of the Gospel, to feel "the clean fragrance of the Gospel".

Francis urges people "to share bread with the hungry, cure the sick, the elderly, those who cannot give us anything, nothing in return". And the story of Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, he underlines, is "studded with these gestures of closeness" with those who suffered, those in need, be they Catholics, Orthodox or Jews.

On the other hand, he adds, "the Church is by nature missionary" and must "go out" to witness the "attraction" of the Gospel "if it does not want to become self-referential", with a mission that is neither "spreading a religious ideology"; "the proposal of a sublime ethic", "the proposal of cold truths" or "indoctrination with questionable methods": "increasingly the peripheries are less a geographical concept and more of an existential one".

In an era in which, faced with the migrant emergency, walls are built that do nothing but "close" hearts, Francis stresses that a true reception must be "totally disinterested" and there is "so much work to do" today to "create a new culture, a new mentality, educate new generations to think of themselves as one human family, a community without borders".

Even in the Church, the Pope notes, "when one does not live the logic of communion but of corporations, then real strategies of war for power are waged against others, which is sometimes expressed in economic terms, at others in terms of roles". So "it is precisely people who are the antidote to falsehoods, not strategies".

55 years since the promulgation of John XXIII’s Encyclical Pacem in terris (11 April 1963), the Pope recalls the "proposal for peace as a permanent commitment". "It is true that today more wars are fought then, also because the media show us the live images that come from so many parts of the world; and it is true that they fight with weapons, but also in less visible ways, always guided by mechanisms of oppression; yet the words of Pope John remain valid".

In the perspective of a culture of the encounter, Francis also poses the role of religions, especially to confront the equation between terrorism and Islamism which is "a lie and a nonsense". The invitation is to promote a "true education to behaviours of responsibility", even with respect to the care of Creation.

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