Pope Francis encourages states to work for the common good and warns against new forms of ideological colonization

Addressing the Diplomatic Corps Pope Francis has called on states to work for the common good of all and warned of new forms of ideological colonization that disregard the identity, dignity and sensitivities of peoples. Highlights from the pope’s address are listed below. You can find the full text of the address here.

In his address the pope:

  • Emphasised the role of the Church to “show concern for the whole human family and its needs, including those of the material and social order.”
  • Made it clear that the Holy See “has no intention of interfering in the life of States”, seeking instead to be an “attentive listener, sensitive to issues involving humanity, out of a sincere and humble desire to be at the service of every man and woman.”
  • The Church must “work for the growth of peaceful and reconciled societies.”
  • Expressed concern about “nationalistic tendencies” and encouraged states to pursue the common good by providing “long-term answers” rather than “quick partisan consensus.” The pope stressed that politics needed to be farsighted and not limited to seeking short-term solutions.
  • Spoke about the “growing influence” of powers and interests groups that “impose their own visions and ideas, sparking new forms of ideological colonization, often in disregard for the identity, dignity, and sensitivities of peoples.”
  • Argued that an essential aspect of good politics is “the pursuit of the common good of all, insofar as it is “the good of all people and of the whole person” and a condition of society that enables all individuals and the community as a whole to achieve their proper material and spiritual well-being.”
  • Stressed that respect for the dignity of each human being is the “indispensable premise for a truly peaceful coexistence, and law becomes the essential instrument for achieving social justice and nurturing fraternal bonds between peoples.”
  • Speaking about refugees the pope expressed gratitude to Jordan, Lebanon and the various European countries who have “generously offered hospitality to those in difficulty and danger.”
  • Appealed to governments to “provide assistance to all those who forced to emigrate on account of the scourge of poverty and various forms of violence and persecution, as well as natural catastrophes and climatic disturbances”, and also “to allow them to return safely and with full respect for their dignity and human rights.”
  • On immigration restrictions put in place by governments the pope emphasised the need for a “common, concerted response by all countries” and encouraged a generous sense of solidarity and spirit of fraternity towards migrants.
  • In relation to abuse of minors the pope described it as “one of the vilest and most heinous crimes conceivable” and that it “sweeps away the best of what human life holds out for innocent children, and causes irreparable and lifelong damage.” The pope said that the Church was working to “combat and prevent these crimes and their concealment.”
  • On nuclear disarmament the pope expressed serious concerns about the disturbing pursuit of new and increasingly sophisticated and destructive weapons. He stated once again that the possession and threat of use of nuclear weapons is to be “firmly condemned.”