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Sept 27, 2015 – Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

May 4, 2014

Leave ideology behind and care for the human person, Pope Francis tells UN

New York City, N.Y., Sep 25, 2015 / 08:45 am ( CNA/EWTN News).- On Friday Pope Francis told members of the United Nations that there is no room for “ideological colonization” in their agenda, and stressed the need to go beyond policies to concrete solutions in caring for the poor and vulnerable, as well as the environment. In his Sept. 25 speech to a U.N. General Assembly Special Summit on Sustainable Development, Pope Francis pointed to the Preamble of the U.N. Charter, which highlights the need to promote “social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.”

  “Without the recognition of certain incontestable natural ethical limits and without the immediate implementation of those pillars of integral human development,” the idea of leaving a better world for future generations “risks becoming an unattainable illusion.”

Even worse, he said, is the danger of “idle chatter which serves as a cover for all kinds of abuse and corruption, or for carrying out an ideological colonization by the imposition of anomalous models and lifestyles which are alien to people’s identity and, in the end, irresponsible.”

“When the Charter of the United Nations is respected and applied with transparency and sincerity, and without ulterior motives, as an obligatory reference point of justice and not as a means of masking spurious intentions, peaceful results will be obtained,” the Pope said.

However, when the norms are merely used as “an instrument to be used whenever it proves favorable, and to be avoided when it is not, a true Pandora’s box is opened, releasing uncontrollable forces which gravely harm defenseless populations, the cultural milieu and even the biological environment. ”In addition to his strong comments against ideological colonization, Francis also voiced condemnation for global phenomena such as the arms trade, the use of nuclear arms and weapons of Mass destruction, drug trafficking, war, environmental deterioration and social exclusion.

He praised the U.N. for the work that has been done in the 70 years of its existence, and pointed to specific initiatives such as the codification and development of international law, the establishment of international norms regarding human rights, advances in humanitarian law, the resolution of conflicts and peacekeeping operations as “lights” dispelling the darkness of selfishness.

However, while much has already been done, there are still serious problems that need to be resolved, he said.  The Pope voiced concern that while our emphasis on communications and technology help surpass distances, they also being the temptation to “overcome all natural limits to the exercise of power.”  “To give to each his own, to cite the classic definition of justice, means that no human individual or group can consider itself absolute, permitted to bypass the dignity and the rights of other individuals or their social groupings.”

Francis then called for the proper distribution of political, economic and technological power, saying that today’s world often presents “many false rights and – at the same time – broad sectors which are vulnerable, victims of power badly exercised.”

“For example, the natural environment and the vast ranks of the excluded. These sectors are closely interconnected and made increasingly fragile by dominant political and economic relationships.” “Economic and social exclusion is a complete denial of human fraternity and a grave offense against human rights and the environment. The poorest are those who suffer most from such offenses.”  The poor, he said, “are cast off by society, forced to live off what is discarded and suffer unjustly from the abuse of the environment. They are part of today’s widespread and quietly growing culture of waste.”

But while policies are good, Francis said they aren’t enough, and stressed that commitments must also be coupled with the will to carry them out.  “Our world demands of all government leaders a will which is effective, practical and constant, concrete steps and immediate measures for preserving and improving the natural environment,” he said.  Doing this will help put an end to various forms social and economic exclusion, along with their “baneful consequences” such as human and organ trafficking, the drug and weapons trade, terrorism and organized crime.  “Such is the magnitude of these situations and their toll in innocent lives, that we must avoid every temptation to fall into a declarationist nominalism which would assuage our consciences.”

Francis cautioned against the risk of both being content with the drafting of a list of good proposals and goals, as well as thinking that a single “theoretical and aprioristic solution” will answer all challenges.  Pope Francis faulted “an irresponsible mismanagement of the global economy” fueled by an unbounded ambition for wealth and power for the current ecological crisis, as well as the wide destruction of biodiversity, which threatens “the very existence of the human species.”  When we ourselves have the final word and no longer recognize anything but ourselves, creation is compromised, he said.

09-Sept 27, 2015 Bulletin


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