'Pope Francis'

Pope Francis and Active Nonviolence

Posted on 30. Jul, 2017 by .

0

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a Message to the participants in the G20 meeting taking place in Germany July 7-8. The Message is addressed to the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, and details what the Holy Father recognizes as four principles of action for the building of fraternal, just and peaceful societies: time is greater than space; unity prevails over conflict; realities are more important than ideas; and the whole is greater than the part.

Please find the full text of Pope Francis’ Message, in its official English translation, below…

*********************************

To Her Excellency
Mrs Angela Merkel
Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany

Following our recent meeting in the Vatican, and in response to your thoughtful request, I would like to offer some considerations that, together with all the Pastors of the Catholic Church, I consider important in view of the forthcoming meeting of the G20, which will gather Heads of State and of Government of the Group of major world economies and the highest authorities of the European Union.  In doing so, I follow a tradition begun by Pope Benedict XVI in April 2009 on the occasion of the London G20.  My Predecessor likewise wrote to Your Excellency in 2006, when Germany held the presidency of the European Union and the G8.

In the first place, I wish to express to you, and to the leaders assembled in Hamburg, my appreciation for the efforts being made to ensure the governability and stability of the world economy, especially with regard to financial markets, trade, fiscal problems and, more generally, a more inclusive and sustainable global economic growth (cf. G20 Leaders Communiqué, Hangzhou Summit, 5 September 2016).  As is evident from the Summit’s programme, such efforts are inseparable from the need to address ongoing conflicts and the worldwide problem of migrations.

In my Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, the programmatic document of my Pontificate addressed to the Catholic faithful, I proposed four principles of action for the building of fraternal, just and peaceful societies: time is greater than space; unity prevails over conflict; realities are more important than ideas; and the whole is greater than the part.  These lines of action are evidently part of the age-old wisdom of all humanity; I believe that they can also serve as an aid to reflection for the Hamburg meeting and for the assessment of its outcome.

Time is greater than space.  The gravity, complexity and interconnection of world problems is such that there can be no immediate and completely satisfying solutions. Sadly, the migration crisis, which is inseparable from the issue of poverty and exacerbated by armed conflicts, is proof of this.  It is possible, though, to set in motion processes that can offer solutions that are progressive and not traumatic, and which can lead in relatively short order to free circulation and to a settlement of persons that would be to the advantage of all.  Nonetheless, this tension between space and time, between limit and fullness, requires an exactly contrary movement in the minds of government leaders and the powerful.  An effective solution, necessarily spread over time, will be possible only if the final objective of the process is clearly present in its planning.  In the minds and hearts of government leaders, and at every phase of the enactment of political measures, there is a need to give absolute priority to the poor, refugees, the suffering, evacuees and the excluded, without distinction of nation, race, religion or culture, and to reject armed conflicts.

At this point, I cannot fail to address to the Heads of State and of Government of the G20, and to the entire world community, a heartfelt appeal for the tragic situation in South Sudan, the Lake Chad basin, the Horn of Africa and Yemen, where thirty million people are lacking the food and water needed to survive.  A commitment to meet these situations with urgency and to provide immediately support to those peoples will be a sign of the seriousness and sincerity of the mid-term commitment to reforming the world economy and a guarantee of its sound development.

Unity prevails over conflict.  The history of humanity, in our own day too, presents us with a vast panorama of current and potential conflicts.  War, however, is never a solution.   As the hundredth anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s Letter to the Leaders of the Warring Peoples draws near, I feel bound to ask that the world put an end to all these “useless slaughters”.  The goal of the G20 and of other similar annual meetings is to resolve economic differences peacefully and to agree on common financial and trade rules to allow for the integral development of all, in order to implement the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (cf. Communiqué of the G20 Hangzhou Summit).  Yet that will not be possible unless all parties commit themselves to substantially reducing levels of conflict, halting the present arms race and renouncing direct or indirect involvement in conflicts, as well as agreeing to discuss sincerely and transparently all their differences.  There is a tragic contradiction and inconsistency in the apparent unity expressed in common forums on economic or social issues, and the acceptance, active or passive, of armed conflicts.

Realities are more important than ideas.  The fateful ideologies of the first half of the twentieth century have been replaced by new ideologies of absolute market autonomy and financial speculation (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 56).  In their tragic wake, these bring exclusion, waste and even death.  The significant political and economic achievements of the past century, on the other hand, were always marked by a sound and prudent pragmatism, guided by the primacy of the human being and the attempt to integrate and coordinate diverse and at times opposed realities, on the basis of respect for each and every citizen.  I pray to God that the Hamburg Summit may be illumined by the example of those European and world leaders who consistently gave pride of place to dialogue and the quest of common solutions: Schuman, De Gasperi, Adenauer, Monnet and so many others.

The whole is greater than the part.  Problems need to be resolved concretely and with due attention to their specificity, but such solutions, to be lasting, cannot neglect a broader vision.  They must likewise consider eventual repercussions on all countries and their citizens, while respecting the views and opinions of the latter.  Here I would repeat the warning that Benedict XVI addressed to the G20 London Summit in 2009.  While it is reasonable that G20 Summits should be limited to the small number of countries that represent 90% of the production of wealth and services worldwide, this very situation must prompt the participants to a profound reflection.  Those states and individuals whose voice is weakest on the world political scene are precisely the ones who suffer most from the harmful effects of economic crises for which they bear little or no responsibility.  This great majority, which in economic terms counts for only 10% of the whole, is the portion of humanity that has the greatest potential to contribute to the progress of everyone.  Consequently, there is need to make constant reference to the United Nations, its programmes and associated agencies, and regional organizations, to respect and honour international treaties, and to continue promoting a multilateral approach, so that solutions can be truly universal and lasting, for the benefit of all (cf. Benedict XVI, Letter to the Honourable Gordon Brown, 30 March 2009).

I offer these considerations as a contribution to the work of the G20, with trust in the spirit of responsible solidarity that guides all those taking part.  I ask God’s blessings upon the Hamburg meeting and on every effort of the international community to shape a new era of development that is innovative, interconnected, sustainable, environmentally respectful and inclusive of all peoples and all individuals (cf. Communiqué of the G20 Hangzhou Summit).

I take this occasion to assure Your Excellency of my high consideration and esteem.

From the Vatican, 29 June 2017

More/Leave a Comment

The Laudato Si Challenge

Posted on 01. Jul, 2017 by .

0

Launching startups that sustainably solve the global climate change crisis by 2030

Roman Skyline

The Laudato Si’ Startup Challenge, inspired by Pope Francis is a global initiative, an urgent call-to-action, that encourages early to mid-stage startups to grow their breakthrough solutions to the world’s boldest challenges. Teams of young people, of all faiths, all backgrounds, on every continent, are being asked to scale their profitable, innovative and sustainable products and services which address a grand challenge. The challenge category for 2017 is: climate change and involuntary migration. Startup teams from over 100 countries are now being recruited through a direct call-to-action, through global startup ecosystems, university partners and a worldwide executive network. After submitting first-round entries, the field will be narrowed to 50. Following a rigorous, 60-day screening and interview process, a panel of experts will choose the most promising 12 startups (semi-finalists) to advance into an 8-week business accelerator in Rome to expand and scale their solution.

Each semi-finalist will be offered an equity investment and mentorship as they work to become one of the finalists. All of the startups that reach the semi-finals stage of The Challenge will receive ongoing support to further define their products and services, with the goal of emerging as fully-investable enterprises. In December, The Laudato Si’ Challenge will culminate with a demo day and grand ceremony inside Vatican City. The global event will celebrate each of the six startups as they present their game-changing products and services to the world, as well as memorialize the 21st Century standard of doing business: profitable, social, mission aligned and bankable.

MISSION

The Laudato Si Startup Challenge will unite humanity in common purpose and productive conversation, much like His Holiness Pope Francis’s “Revolution of Tenderness.” It will be a beacon of new business, inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs to build for-profit, for-purpose companies that address humanity’s biggest challenges in ways that are beneficial to all.

Learn more about the Laudato Si Challenge here

More/Leave a Comment

Laudato Si Posters

Posted on 17. Jun, 2017 by .

0

In response to the June 2017 update regarding the Laudato Si 2nd anniversary, Leo Sprietsma OFM provided us with a few posters of the ‘original Laudato Si” that he has recently designed.

unnamed-1unnamed-2

 

More/Leave a Comment

‘Pope Francis’ Laundry’ opens in Rome

Posted on 30. Apr, 2017 by .

0

taken from radiovaticana.va –

Lavanderia-2-690x450The first washing machines and tumble dryers for the homeless in Rome whirred into action on Monday as ‘Pope Francis’ Laundry’ opened its doors to provide a much needed service.

One of the many difficulties for those who live on the streets is to be able to wash, dry and iron their clothes and blankets, and the Vatican-sponsored laundry is a response to Pope Francis’s invitation to give concrete signs of solidarity to our brothers and sisters in need.

A communiqué released by the Apostolic Almoner quotes from the Pope’s Apostolic Letter, Misericordia et misera, at the conclusion of the Jubilee Year of Mercy: “The desire for closeness to Christ requires us to draw near to our brothers and sisters, for nothing is more pleasing to the Father than a true sign of mercy. By its very nature, mercy becomes visible and tangible in specific acts.”

So, Papal Almoner, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski noted: “Here is a concrete sign wanted by the office of Papal Charities: a place and a service to give concrete form to charity to restore dignity to so many people who are our brothers and sisters and who are called, with us, to build a city we can trust”.

Pope Francis’ Office of Papal Charities has already set up showers, a barber shop, a dormitory, a healthcare clinic and a pharmacy for the poor in the eternal city. What was missing, until now, was a laundry service, an urgent need indeed as Krajewski explained: “One of the greatest difficulties for those who live on the streets, along with that of finding food, a place to spend the night and public baths, is to wash and dry the clothes they wear, in many cases the only ones they own”.

The laundry room is located at the “People of Peace Center” run by the Sant’Egidio Community at the old hospital complex of San Gallicano, in the central Trastevere area of Rome.

The press release offers the information that the laundry boasts six, latest generation washers and six dryers along with several irons donated by the Whirlpool Corporation.

Other commercial detergent producers ensure the full and free supply of soap powder and fabric softener.

 

More/Leave a Comment

Pope Francis TED Talk: Why the only future worth building includes everyone

Posted on 30. Apr, 2017 by .

0

A single individual is enough for hope to exist, and that individual can be you, says His Holiness Pope Francis in this searing TED Talk delivered directly from Vatican City. In a hopeful message to people of all faiths, to those who have power as well as those who don’t, the spiritual leader provides illuminating commentary on the world as we currently find it and calls for equality, solidarity and tenderness to prevail. “Let us help each other, all together, to remember that the ‘other’ is not a statistic, or a number,” he says. “We all need each other.”

More/Leave a Comment