Pope Francis welcomed the Third World Meeting of Popular Movements at the Vatican.
This meeting brings together organizations of people on the margins of society, including the poor, the unemployed and those who have lost their agricultural land.
Pope Francis spoke about the danger of building walls to keep people out and “false prophets that exploit fear and hopelessness to sell magical formulas of hate and cruelty.”
- “All tyranny is terrorist. And when that terror, ignited in the peripheries with massacres, looting, oppression and injustice, explodes in the centers in the form of violence, including with hateful and cowardly intent, the citizens who still have some rights are tempted by the false security of walls, physical or social — walls that close some in and banish others.”
- “A person who only thinks about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian,” Francis told alreday in February.
- Pope Francis warned against the rule of money, which governs with “the whip of fear, inequality, and violence – economic, social, cultural and military – which creates more and more violence in a downward spiral that never seems to end.”
- “The entire social doctrine of the Church and the magisterium of my predecessors rebels against the idol-money that reigns – tyrannizing and terrorizing humanity – instead of serving” said the Holy Father.
- “No tyranny can be sustained without exploiting our fears,” – continued the Pope – “Citizens are walled-up, terrified, on one side; on the other side, even more terrified, are the excluded and banished.”
- Pope Francis said this fear “is fed and manipulated.”
- “Because fear – as well as being a good deal for the merchants of arms and death – weakens and destabilizes us, destroys our psychological and spiritual defenses, numbs us to the suffering of others, and in the end it makes us cruel.”
- Pope Francis praised the members of the Popular Movements for giving dignity to the worker, and doing their part to reduce unemployment through their cooperatives.
- He also thanked them for their assistance to migrants, and recalled the scenes he saw when he visited the Greek island of Lesbos, where the sight of so many children demonstrated the “bankruptcy of humanity.”
- “What happens in the world today, if it is a bank which goes into bankruptcy, immediately there appear outrageous sums to save it,” – “But when the bankruptcy of humanity arrives, not one-thousandth of that will be used to save our suffering brothers and sisters? Thus the Mediterranean has become a cemetery, and not just the Mediterranean … many cemeteries are near walls; walls stained with innocent blood.”
- The Holy Father told the organizations they are called to “revitalize and re-establish democracies going through a real crisis.” “Do not fall into the temptation of being put into a box that reduces you to secondary actors or, worse, to mere administrators of the existing misery.”
- The Pope also warned them against corruption. “The measure is very high: we must live the vocation of serving others with a strong sense of austerity and humility,” he said.
- The Holy Father concluded by praying that God “fill you with his love and defend you on the path, providing sufficient strength to sustain you, and give you the courage to break the chain of hatred; that strength is hope.”