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ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS TO PARTICIPANTS IN THE PLENARY SESSION OF THE PONTIFICAL ACADEMY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen!
I welcome you and I wish you well in your work in this plenary session of the
Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. And I thank Professor Zamagni for his kind
and insightful words.
You have focused your attention on the reality of the family. I appreciate this choice
and also the perspective from which you consider it, namely as a “relational asset”.
We know that social changes are altering the living conditions of marriage and
families all over the world. Moreover, the current context of prolonged and multiple
crises is putting a strain on the projects of stable and happy families. This state of
affairs can be responded to by rediscovering the value of the family as the source
and origin of the social order, as the vital cell of a fraternal society capable of caring
for the common home.
The family is almost always at the top of the scale of values of different peoples,
because it is inscribed in the very nature of woman and man. In this sense,
marriage and the family are not purely human institutions, despite the many
changes they have undergone over the centuries and the cultural and spiritual
differences between peoples. Beyond all the differences, there are common and
permanent traits that reveal the greatness and value of marriage and the family.
However, if this value is lived out in an individualistic and private way, as is partly
the case in the West, the family can be isolated and fragmented in the context of
society. The social functions that the family performs among individuals and in the
community are lost, especially in relation to the weakest, such as children, people
with disabilities and the dependent elderly.
It is a question, then, of understanding that the family is an asset for society, not
insofar as it is a mere aggregation of individuals, but insofar as it is a relationship
founded in a “bond of mutual perfection”, to use an expression of Saint Paul (cf. Col
3:12-14). Indeed, the human being is created in the image and likeness of God,
who is love (cf. 1 Jn 4:8,16). The mutual love between man and woman is a
reflection of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves the human being,
destined to be fruitful and to be fulfilled in the common work of the social order and
the care of creation.
The good of the family is not aggregative, that is, it does not consist in aggregating
the resources of individuals to increase the utility of each, but it is a relational bond
of perfection, which consists in sharing relationships of faithful love, trust,
cooperation, reciprocity, from which derive the goods of the individual members of
the family and, therefore, their happiness. Understood in this way, the family, which
is a relational asset in itself, also becomes the source of many assets and
relationships for the community, such as a good relationship with the State and the
other associations in society, solidarity between families, welcoming those in
difficulty, caring for the least, combating the processes of impoverishment, and so
on.
This perfective bond, which we might call its specific “social genome”, consists in
loving action motivated by gift, by living according to the rule of generous
reciprocity and generativity. The family humanizes people through the relationship
of “us” and at the same time promotes the legitimate differences of each one. This
– take heed – is really important in order to understand what is meant by a family,
which is not just an aggregation of people.
The social thought of the Church helps to understand this relational love proper to
the family, as I tried to do in the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, following in
a great tradition, but also taking a step forward from it.
One aspect I would like to stress is that the family is the place of acceptance. We
don’t talk about it much, but it is important. Its qualities manifest themselves in a
special way in families where there are frail or disabled members. These families
develop special virtues, which enhance the capacity for love and patient endurance
in the face of life’s difficulties. We think of the rehabilitation of the sick, the
reception of migrants, and in general the social inclusion of those who are victims of
marginalization, in all social spheres, especially in the world of work. Integrated
home care for the severely disabled sets in motion a caring capacity in family
members that is able to respond to the specific needs of each individual. Think also
of families that generate benefits for society as a whole, including adoptive and
foster families. The family – as we know – is the main antidote to poverty, both
material and spiritual, as it is also to the problem of demographic winter or
irresponsible motherhood and fatherhood. These two things should be stressed. The
demographic winter is a serious matter. Here in Italy, it is a serious matter
compared to other countries in Europe. It cannot be ignored – it is a serious matter.
And irresponsible motherhood and fatherhood is another serious matter that must
be taken into account to help prevent it from happening.
The family becomes a bond of perfection and a relational asset to the extent that it
allows its own nature to flourish, both by itself and with the help of other people
and institutions, including governmental ones. Family-friendly social, economic and
cultural policies need to be promoted in all countries. These include, for example,
policies that make it possible to harmonize family and work; tax policies that
acknowledge family burdens and support the educational functions of families by
adopting appropriate instruments of fiscal equity; policies that welcome life; and
social, psychological and health services that focus on supporting couple and
parental relationships. […]

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URBI ET ORBI MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS EASTER 2022

[…] I hold in my heart all the many Ukrainian victims, the millions of refugees and
internally displaced persons, the divided families, the elderly left to themselves, the
lives broken and the cities razed to the ground. I see the faces of the orphaned
children fleeing from the war. As we look at them, we cannot help but hear their cry
of pain, along with that of all those other children who suffer throughout our world:
those dying of hunger or lack of medical care, those who are victims of abuse and
violence, and those denied the right to be born.
Amid the pain of the war, there are also encouraging signs, such as the open doors
of all those families and communities that are welcoming migrants and refugees
throughout Europe. May these numerous acts of charity become a blessing for our
societies, at times debased by selfishness and individualism, and help to make
them welcoming to all. […]

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GOOD FRIDAY THE PASSION OF THE LORD THE WAY OF THE CROSS LED BY HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS

Fourteenth Station
The body of Jesus is placed in the tomb
V/. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi
R/. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.
Joseph took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud, and laid it in his own
new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock; and he rolled a great stone to the door
of the tomb, and departed. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting
opposite the sepulcher. (Matthew 27:59-61)
Now we are here. We have died to our past. We wanted to live in our own land but
war prevented that. It is difficult for a family to have to choose between its dreams
and its freedom, between its hopes and survival. We are here after travels in which
we witnessed the death of women and children, friends, brothers and sisters. We
are here, the survivors. We are perceived as a burden. At home, we were
important, but here we are numbers, categories and statistics. And yet we are
much more than just migrants. We are persons. We came here for the sake of our
children. Each day we die for them so that they can try to live a normal life, without
bombs, without bloodshed, without persecution. We are Catholics but even this
seems less important than the fact that we are migrants. If we do not give up, it is
because we know that the great stone at the entrance of the tomb will one day be
rolled away.
Lord Jesus, you were lowered from the cross by kindly hands.
R/. Dona nobis pacem.
You were buried in the new tomb of Joseph of Arimathea.
R/. Dona nobis pacem.
45
You did not know the corruption of the tomb.
R/. Dona nobis pacem.
All:
Our Father…
Lord Jesus,
you descended into hell
to free Adam and Eve and their children from their ancient captivity.
Hear our prayers for the families of migrants.
Rescue them from the deadly pain of isolation,
and grant that all of us may see you in every person,
in every one of our beloved brothers and sisters.
You who live and reign forever and ever.
R/. Amen.

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APOSTOLIC JOURNEY OF HIS HOLINESS FRANCIS TO MALTA (2-3 APRIL 2022) ANGELUS

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I am grateful for Archbishop Scicluna’s kind words on your behalf, but I am really
the one who should be thanking you! Thank you very much!
I would like to express my gratitude to the President of the Republic and the civil
authorities, to my brother Bishops, to you, dear priests, men and women religious,
and to all the citizens and faithful of Malta and Gozo for your warm and affectionate
welcome. This evening, I will meet some of our migrant brothers and sisters, and
then it will be time to return to Rome. I will bring back many memories of the
events and conversations of these days. Above all, I will remember many of your
faces, as well as the luminous face of Malta and the many kind gestures! I thank all
those who worked so hard to prepare for this visit, and I cordially greet our
brothers and sisters of the different Christian denominations and religions whom I
have met in these days. I ask all of you to pray for me, as I will for you. Let us pray
for one another.
These islands breathe a sense of the People of God. May you continue to do so,
mindful that faith grows in joy and is strengthened in giving. Forge further links in
the chain of holiness that has led so many Maltese to devote their lives with
enthusiasm to God and to others. I think, for example, of Dun Ġorġ Preca,
canonized fifteen years ago. Finally, I would like to say a word to the young, who
are your future. Dear young friends, I want to share with you the most beautiful
thing in life. Do you know what it is? It is the joy of giving ourselves completely in
love, which makes us free. That joy has a name: it is Jesus. I wish you the beauty
of falling in love with Jesus, who is the God of mercy – we heard this in today’s
Gospel – and who believes in you, dreams with you, loves your lives and will never
disappoint you. Keep going forward always with Jesus, with your family and with
the People of God; do not forget your roots. Speak with your elders, speak with
your grandparents, speak with elderly people!
May the Lord accompany you, and Our Lady keep you. Let us now pray to her for
peace, as we think of the humanitarian tragedy unfolding in war-torn Ukraine,
which continues to be bombarded in the sacrilegious war. May we be tireless in
praying and in offering assistance to those who suffer. Peace be with you!

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APOSTOLIC JOURNEY OF HIS HOLINESS FRANCIS TO MALTA (2-3 APRIL 2022) MEETING WITH MIGRANTS ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I greet all of you with great affection, and I am very happy to end my visit to Malta
by spending some time here with you. I thank Father Dionisio for his welcome. I am
also very grateful to Daniel and to Siriman for their testimonies: you opened your
hearts and shared your lives, and at the same time gave a voice to so many of our
brothers and sisters who were constrained to leave their homelands in search of a
secure refuge.
Let me repeat what I said some months ago in Lesvos: “I am here… to assure you
of my closeness… I am here to see your faces and look into your eyes” (Address in
Mytilene, 5 December 2021). Since the day I visited Lampedusa, I have not
forgotten you. You are always in my heart and in my prayers.
This meeting with you, dear migrants, makes us think of the significance of the logo
chosen for my Journey to Malta. That logo is taken from the Acts of the Apostles,
which relates how the people of Malta welcomed the Apostle Paul and his
companions, shipwrecked nearby. We are told that they were treated with “unusual
kindness” (Acts 28:2). Not merely with kindness, but with rare humanity, a special
care and concern that Saint Luke wished to immortalize in the Book of Acts. It is my
hope that that is how Malta will always treat those who land on its shores, offering
them a genuinely “safe harbour”.
Shipwreck is something that thousands of men, women and children have
experienced in the Mediterranean in recent years. Sadly, for many of them, it ended
in tragedy. Just yesterday we received news of a rescue off the coast of Libya, of
only four migrants from a boat that was carrying about ninety people. Let us pray
for these our brothers and sisters who died in the Mediterranean Sea. Let us also
pray that we may be saved from another kind of shipwreck taking place: the
shipwreck of civilization, which threatens not only migrants but us all. How can we
save ourselves from this shipwreck which risks sinking the ship of our civilization?
By conducting ourselves with kindness and humanity. By regarding people not
merely as statistics, but, as Siriman told us, for what they really are: people, men
and women, brothers and sisters, each with his or her own life story. By imagining
that those same people we see on crowded boats or adrift in the sea, on our
televisions or in the newspapers, could be any one of us, or our sons or
daughters… Perhaps at this very moment, while we are here, there are boats
heading northwards across the sea… Let us pray for these brothers and sisters of
ours who risk their lives at sea in search of hope. You too experienced this ordeal
and you arrived here.
Your experiences make us think too of the experiences of all those thousands and
thousands of people who in these very days have been forced to flee Ukraine
because of the unjust and savage war. But also the experiences of so many others
in Asia, Africa and the Americas; I also think of Rohingya…. All of them are in my
thoughts and prayers at this time.
Some time ago, I received from your Centre another testimony: the story of a
young man who told me about the sad moment when he had to take leave of his
mother and his family of origin. His story moved me and made me think. But you,
Daniel, and you, Siriman, each had that same experience of having to leave by
being separated from your own roots, of being uprooted. And that experience of
being uprooted leaves its mark. Not just the pain and emotion of that moment, but
a deep wound affecting your journey of growth as a young man or woman. It takes
time to heal that wound; it takes time and most of all it takes experiences of
human kindness: meeting persons who accept you and are able to listen,
understand and accompany you. But also the experience of living alongside other
traveling companions, sharing things with them and bearing your burdens
together… This helps heal the wounds.
I think of these reception centres, and how important it is for them to be places
marked by human kindness! We know how difficult that can be, since there are
always things that create tensions and difficulties. Yet, on every continent, there
are individuals and communities who take up the challenge, realizing that
migrations are a sign of the times, where civility itself is in play. For us Christians
too, in play is our fidelity to the Gospel of Jesus, who said: “I was a stranger and
you welcomed me” (Mt 25:35). None of this can be accomplished in a day! It takes
time, immense patience, and above all a love made up of closeness, tenderness and
compassion, like God’s love for us. I think we should say a big word of thanks to all
those who took up this challenge here in Malta and established this Centre. Let us
do that with a round of applause, all of us together!
Allow me, brothers and sisters, to express a dream of my own: that you, who are
migrants, after having received a welcome rich in human kindness and fraternity,
will become in turn witnesses and agents of welcome and fraternity. Here, and
wherever God wants, wherever his providence will lead you. That is the dream I
want to share with you and which I place in God’s hands. For what is impossible for
us is not impossible for him. I believe it is most important that in today’s world
migrants become witnesses of those human values essential for a dignified and
fraternal life. They are values that you hold in your hearts, values that are part of
your roots. Once the pain of being uprooting has subsided, you can bring forth this
interior richness, this precious patrimony of humanity, and share it with the
communities that will welcome you and the environments of which you will be a
part. This is the way! The way of fraternity and social friendship. Here is the future
of the human family in a globalized world. I am happy to be able to share this
dream with you today, just as you, in your testimonies, have shared your dreams
with me!
Here, I think, is also the answer to a question at the heart of your own testimony,
Siriman. You reminded us that those forced to leave their country leave with a
dream in their hearts: the dream of freedom and democracy. This dream collides
with a harsh reality, often dangerous, sometimes terrible and inhuman. You gave
voice to the stifled plea of those millions of migrants whose fundamental rights are
violated, sadly at times with the complicity of the competent authorities. That is the
way it is, and I want to say it the way it is: Sadly, at times with the complicity of
the competent authorities. And you drew our attention to the most important thing:
the dignity of the person. I would reaffirm this in your own words: you are not
statistics but flesh and blood people with faces and dreams, dreams that are
sometimes dashed.
From there, from the dignity of persons, we can and must start anew. Let us not be
deceived by all those who tell us that “nothing can be done”; “these problems are
too big for us”; “let others fend for themselves while I go about my own business”.
No. Let us never fall into this trap. Let us respond to the challenge of migrants and
refugees with kindness and humanity. Let us light fires of fraternity around which
people can warm themselves, rise again and rediscover hope. Let us strengthen the
fabric of social friendship and the culture of encounter, starting from places such as
this. They may not be perfect, but they are, truly, “laboratories of peace”.
Since this Centre bears the name of Saint John XXIII, I would like to recall the hope
that Pope John expressed at the end of his famous encyclical on peace: “May [the
Lord] banish from the souls of men and women whatever might endanger peace.
May he transform all of us into witnesses of truth, justice and brotherly love. May
he illumine with his light the minds of rulers, so that, in addition to caring for the
material welfare of their peoples, they may also guarantee them the fairest gift of
peace. Finally, may Christ inflame the desires of all men and women to break
through the barriers which divide them, to strengthen the bonds of mutual love, to
learn to understand one another, and to pardon those who have done them wrong.
Through his power and inspiration may all peoples see one another as brothers and
sisters, and may the peace for which they long always flourish and reign among
them” (Pacem in Terris, 171).
Dear brothers and sisters, soon I will join some of you in lighting a candle before
the image of Our Lady. It is a very simple yet meaningful gesture. In the Christian
tradition, that little flame is a symbol of our faith in God. It is also a symbol of
hope, a hope that Mary, our Mother, keeps alive even at most difficult moments. It
is the hope that I have seen in your eyes today: the hope that has made your
journey meaningful and the hope that keeps you pressing forward. May Our Lady
help you never to lose this hope! To her, I entrust each of you and your families. I
will carry you with me in my heart and in my prayers. And I ask you, please, not to
forget to pray for me. Thank you!
Prayer of His Holiness Pope Francis at the Conclusion of the Meeting with
Migrants
Lord God, Creator of the universe,
source of all freedom and peace,
love and fraternity,
you created us in your own image,
breathed in us the breath of life
and made us sharers in your own life of communion.
Even when we broke your covenant
you did not abandon us to the power of death,
but continued, in your infinite mercy,
to call us back to you,
to live as your sons and daughters.
Pour out upon us your Holy Spirit
and grant us a new heart,
sensitive to the pleas, often silent,
of our brothers and sisters who have lost
the warmth of their homes and homeland.
Grant that we may give them hope
by our welcome and our show of humanity.
Make us instruments of peace
and practical, fraternal love.
Free us from fear and prejudice;
enable us to share in their sufferings
and to combat injustice together,
for the growth of a world in which each person
is respected in his or her inviolable dignity,
the dignity that you, O Father, have granted us
and your Son has consecrated forever.
Amen.

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APOSTOLIC JOURNEY OF HIS HOLINESS FRANCIS TO MALTA (2-3 APRIL 2022) MEETING WITH THE AUTHORITIES, CIVIL SOCIETY AND THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS

Mr President of the Republic,
Members of Government and the Diplomatic Corps,
Distinguished Religious and Civil Authorities,
Representatives of Social and Cultural Life,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I greet you cordially and I think you, Mr President, for your gracious words of
welcome on behalf of your fellow-citizens. Your ancestors showed hospitality to the
Apostle Paul in his journey to Rome, treating him and his traveling companions
“with unusual kindness” (Acts 28:2). Coming from Rome, I too am now
experiencing that same warm hospitality, a treasure that the Maltese people have
handed on from generation to generation.
Thanks to its geographical position, Malta can be called the heart of the
Mediterranean. Not only by its geography: for thousands of years, the interplay of
historical events and the encounter of different peoples has made this island a
centre of vitality and of culture, spirituality and beauty, a crossroads that has
received and harmonized influences from many parts of the world. This variety of
influences makes us think of the various winds that sweep this country. Not by
chance, in the ancient maps of the Mediterranean, the compass rose, or “rose of
winds” was often depicted near the island of Malta. I would like to borrow that
image of the rose of winds, which describes the winds in terms of the four cardinal
points of the compass, to describe four fundamental influences for the social and
political life of this country.
It is prevalently from northwest that the winds blow on the Maltese islands. The
north recalls Europe, especially the home represented by the European Union, build
as a dwelling-place for a single great family united in maintaining peace. Unity and
peace are the gifts that the Maltese people implore from God whenever your
national anthem is sung. The prayer written by Dun Karm Psaila says: “Grant,
Almighty God, wisdom to those who govern, strength to those who work, affirm
unity among the Maltese people, and peace”. Peace follows unity and rises up from
it. This reminds us of the importance of working together, of preferring cohesion to
division, and of strengthening the shared roots and values that have forged Maltese
society in its uniqueness.
To ensure a sound social coexistence, however, it is not enough to strengthen the
sense of belonging; there is a need to shore up the foundations of life in society,
which rests on law and legality. Honesty, justice, a sense of duty and transparency
are the essential pillars of a mature civil society. May your commitment to eliminate
illegality and corruption be strong, like the north wind that sweeps the coasts of this
country. May you always cultivate legality and transparency, which will enable the
eradication of corruption and criminality, neither of which acts openly and in broad
daylight.
The European home, committed to promoting the values of justice and social
equality, is also in forefront of efforts to protect the larger home that is God’s
creation. The environment in which we live is a gift from heaven, as your national
anthem also recognizes, by asking God to preserve the beauty of this land, a
mother dressed by brightest light. In Malta, where the luminous beauty of the
landscape alleviates difficulties, creation appears as the gift that, amid the trials of
history and life, reminds us of the beauty of our life on earth. It must therefore be
kept safe from rapacious greed, from avarice and from construction speculation,
which compromises not only the landscape but the very future. Instead, the
protection of the environment and the promotion of social justice prepare for the
future, and are optimal ways to instil in young people a passion for a healthy
politics and to shield them from the temptation to indifference and lack of
commitment.
The north wind often blends with blowing from the west. This European country,
especially in its young people, shares western lifestyles and thinking. This brings
great benefits – I think, for example, of the values of freedom and of democracy –
but also risks, which call for vigilance lest the desire for progress be accompanied
by detachment from your own roots. Malta is a splendid “laboratory of organic
development”, where progress does not mean cutting one’s roots with the past in
the name of a false prosperity dictated by profit, by needs created by consumerism,
to say nothing of the right to have any and every “right”. A sound development
needs to preserve the memory of the past and foster respect and harmony between
the generations, without yielding to bland uniformity and to forms of ideological
colonization, that take place, for example, in the field and principle of life. That is
ideological colonization that goes against the right to life from the moment it is
conceived.
The basis of all solid growth is respect for the human person, respect for the life
and dignity of every man and every woman. I am aware of the commitment of the
Maltese people to embracing and protecting life. Already in the Acts of the Apostles,
the people of this island were known for saving many lives. I encourage you to
continue to defend life from its beginning to its natural end, but also to protect it at
every moment from being cast aside and deprived of care and concern. I think
especially of the rightful dignity of workers, the elderly and sick. And of those young
people who risk squandering all the good have within them by following mirages
that leave only emptiness in their wake. These are the fruits of radical
consumerism, indifference to the needs of others and the scourge of drugs, which
suppresses freedom and creates dependence. Let us protect the beauty of life!
Continuing to follow the rose of winds, we now look to the south, from where so
many of our brothers and sisters have come in search of hope. I would like to thank
the civil authorities and the people of Malta for the welcome they have given them
in the name of the Gospel, our common humanity and of their native sense of
hospitality. According to its Phoenician etymology, Malta means “safe harbor”.
Nonetheless, given the growing influx of recent years, fear and insecurity have
nurtured a certain discouragement and frustration. If the complexity of the
migration issue is to be properly addressed, it needs to be situated within a broader
context of time and space. Time, in the sense that migration phenomenon is not a
temporary situation, but a sign of our times. It brings with it the burden of past
injustice, exploitation, climatic changes and tragic conflicts, whose effects are now
making themselves felt. From the poor and densely populated south, great numbers
of people are moving to the wealthy north: this is a fact, and it cannot be ignored
by adopting an anachronistic isolationism, which will not produce prosperity and
integration. From the standpoint of space, the growing migration emergency – here
we can think of the refugees from war-torn Ukraine – calls for a broad-based and
shared response. Some countries cannot respond to the entire problem, while
others remain indifferent onlookers! Civilized countries cannot approve for their own
interest sordid agreements with criminals who enslave other human beings.
Unfortunately this happens. The Mediterranean needs co-responsibility on the part
of Europe, in order to become a new theatre of solidarity and not the harbinger of a
tragic shipwreck of civilization. The mare nostrum should not become the biggest
cemetery of Europe.
With this mention of shipwreck, my thoughts turn to Saint Paul who, in the course
of his last journey across the Mediterranean, unexpectedly came to these shores
and found ready assistance. Then, bitten by a viper, he was thought to criminal, but
then came to be considered a god because he suffered no ill effects from it (cf. Acts
28:3-6). Between these two extremes, the really important thing was missed: Paul
was a man, a man in need of assistance. Humanity is first and foremost: that is the
lesson taught by this country whose history was blessed by the arrival of the
shipwrecked apostle. In the name of the Gospel that Paul lived and preached, let us
open our hearts and rediscover the beauty of serving our neighbours in need. Let
us continue on this path. Today, when those who cross the Mediterranean in search
of salvation are met with fear and the narrative of “invasion”, and safeguarding
one’s own security at any price seems to be the primary goal, let us help one
another not to view the migrant as a threat and not to yield to the temptation of
raising drawbridges and erecting walls. Other people are not a virus from which we
need to be protected, but persons to be accepted. For that matter, “the Christian
ideal always be a summons to overcome suspicion, ingrained mistrust, fear of losing
our privacy, all those defensive attitudes which today’s world imposes on us”
(Evangelii Gaudium, 88). May we not allow indifference to stifle our dream of living
as one! Certainly, acceptance entails effort and requires renunciations. So it was in
the experience of Saint Paul: to save the ship, it was necessary to sacrifice the
merchandise it was carrying (cf. Acts 27:38). Yet every sacrifice, every renunciation
made for a greater good, for life of man who is the treasure of God, is holy!
Finally, there is the wind coming from the east , which often blows at dawn, which
is why Homer called it “Eurus” (Odyssey, V, 349.423). Yet from the east of Europe,
from the land of sunrise, the dark shadows of war have now spread. We had
thought that invasions of other countries, savage street fighting and atomic threats
were grim memories of a distant past. However, the icy winds of war, which bring
only death, destruction and hatred in their wake, have swept down powerfully upon
the lives of many people and affected us all. Once again, some potentate, sadly
caught up in anachronistic claims of nationalist interests, is provoking and
fomenting conflicts, whereas ordinary people sense the need to build a future that,
will either shared, or not be at all. Now in the night of the war that is fallen upon
humanity, please, let us not allow the dream of peace to fade!
Malta, which shines brilliantly in the heart of the Mediterranean, can serve as an
inspiration to us, for it is urgent to restore beauty to the face of a humanity marred
by war. A beautiful Mediterranean statue dating back centuries before Christ depicts
peace as a woman, Eirene, holding in her arms Ploutus, wealth. That statue
reminds us that peace generates prosperity, and war only poverty. Significantly, in
that statue peace and prosperity are depicted as a mother holding her child in her
arms. The tender love of mothers, who give life to the world, and the presence of
women are the true alternative to the baneful logic of power that leads to war. We
need compassion and care, not ideological and populist visions fueled by words of
hatred and unconcerned for the concrete life of the people, ordinary people.
Over sixty years ago, in a world menaced by destruction, where law was dictated by
ideological conflicts and the grim logic of blocs, a different voice was raised from
the Mediterranean basin, countering the exaltation of self-interests with a call for a
prophetic leap in the name of universal fraternity. It was the voice of Georgio La
Pira, who stated that “the historic juncture in which we are living, the clash of
interests and ideologies that shake a humanity in prey to incredible childishness,
restore to the Mediterranean a capital responsibility. It is that of defining once more
the rule of a moderation in which man, abandoned to madness and lack of
moderation, can recognize himself” (Intervention at the Mediterranean Congress of
Culture, 19 February 1960). Those were timely words; we can repeat them because
they have a great relevance. How much we need a “human moderation” before the
infantile and destructive aggression that threatens us, before the risk of an
“enlarged Cold War” that can stifle the life of entire peoples and generations. That
“childishness”, sadly, has not disappeared. It has reemerged powerfully in the
seductions of autocracy, new forms of imperialism, widespread aggressiveness, and
the inability to build bridges and start from the poorest in our midst. Today, it is
difficult to think with the logic of peace. We have gotten used to thinking with the
logic of war. It is from there that cold wind of war begins to blow, and this time it
has been encouraged over the years. War has in fact been prepared for some time
by great investments in weaponry and a massive trade in arms. It is distressing to
see how the enthusiasm for peace, which emerged after the Second World War, has
faded in these recent decades, as has the progress of the international community,
with a few powers who go ahead on their own account, seeking spaces and zones of
influence. In this way, not only peace, but also so many great questions, like the
fight against hunger and inequality are no longer on the list of the main political
agendas.
But the solution to the crisis of each is care for those of all, since global problems
require global solutions. Let us help one another to sense people’s yearning for
peace. Let us work to lay the foundations of an ever more expanded dialogue. Let
us go back to gathering in international peace conferences, where the theme of
disarmament will have a central place, where our thoughts will turn to future
generations! And where the enormous funds that continue to be destined to
weaponry may be diverted to development, health care and nutrition.
Looking once more to the east, I would like to devote a final thought to the nearby
Middle East, whose languages, harmonized with others, are reflected in the native
language of this nation, as if to recall the capacity of the Maltese people to generate
beneficial forms of coexistence in a sort of conviviality of differences. This is what
the Middle East needs: Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and other contexts torn by
problems and violence. May Malta, the heart of the Mediterranean, continue to
foster the heartbeat of hope, care for life, acceptance of others, yearning for peace,
with the help of the God whose name is peace.
God bless Malta and Gozo!

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MEETING WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES IN CANADA ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS

Yet that tree, rich in fruit, has experienced a tragedy that you described to me in
these past days: the tragedy of being uprooted. The chain that passed on
knowledge and ways of life in union with the land was broken by a colonization that
lacked respect for you, tore many of you from your vital milieu and tried to conform
you to another mentality. In this way, great harm was done to your identity and
your culture, many families were separated, and great numbers of children fell
victim to these attempts to impose a uniformity based on the notion that progress
occurs through ideological colonization, following programmes devised in offices
rather than the desire to respect the life of peoples. This is something that,
unfortunately, and at various levels, still happens today: ideological colonization.
How many forms of political, ideological and economic colonization still exist in the
world, driven by greed and thirst for profit, with little concern for peoples, their
histories and traditions, and the common home of creation! Sadly, this colonial
mentality remains widespread. Let us help each other, together, to overcome it. […]

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POPE FRANCIS GENERAL AUDIENCE

APPEAL
Dear brothers and sisters, next Saturday and Sunday I will go to Malta. In that
luminous land I shall be a pilgrim in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul, who was
welcomed there with great humanity after being shipwrecked at sea on his way to
Rome. This Apostolic Journey will therefore be an opportunity to go to the
wellsprings of the proclamation of the Gospel, to know at first hand a Christian
community with a lively history stretching back thousands of years, and to meet the
inhabitants of a country that lies at the center of the Mediterranean and in the
south of the European continent, which today is increasingly engaged in welcoming
so many brothers and sisters seeking refuge. I greet all of you Maltese from the
bottom of my heart, as of now: have a nice day. I thank all those who have worked
to prepare this visit and I ask every one of you to accompany me in prayer. Thank
you! […]

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POPE FRANCIS ANGELUS

After the Angelus:
Dear brothers and sisters, more than a month has gone by since the beginning of
the invasion of Ukraine, since the beginning of this cruel and senseless war, that,
like every war, represents a defeat for every one, for everyone of us. We need to
reject war, a place of death where fathers and mothers bury their children, where
men kill their brothers and sisters without even having seen them, where the
powerful decide and the poor die.
War does not devastate the present only, but the future of a society as well. I read
that from the beginning of the aggression in Ukraine, one out of every two children
has been displaced from their country. This means destroying the future, causing
dramatic trauma in the lives of the smallest and most innocent among us. This is
the brutality of war — a barbaric and sacrilegious act!
War should not be something that is inevitable. We should not accustom ourselves
to war. Instead, we need to convert today’s indignation into tomorrow’s
commitment, because if we will emerge from these events, the way we were
before, we will all be guilty in some way. Faced with the danger of self-destruction,
may humanity understand that the moment has come to abolish war, to erase it
from human history, before it erases humans from history.
I pray that every political leader may reflect on this, to commit themselves to this!
And, looking on martyred Ukraine, to understand how each day of war worsens the
situation for everyone. Therefore, I renew my appeal: Enough. Stop. May weapons
be silenced. May peace be seriously pursued. Let us continue to pray untiringly to
the Queen of Peace, to whom we consecrated humanity, in particular Russia and
Ukraine, with such a huge and intense participation for which I thank all of you. Let
us pray together. Hail Mary… […].

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ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS TO THE ITALIAN FEDERATION TRANSMISSIONS

[…] I have heard that you are committing yourselves also to the service of the
many brothers and sisters who have fled Ukraine because of the war. I thank you
for this. We hope and pray that this war – which is shameful for all of us, for all of
humanity – will come to an end as soon as possible. It is unacceptable; every day
that it continues, adds more death and destruction. Many people have mobilized to
help the refugees. Ordinary people, especially in neighboring countries, but also
here in Italy, where thousands of Ukrainians have arrived and continue to arrive.
Your contribution is valuable: it is a practical, artisanal way of building peace. And I
agree with what the president said, talking about European Civil Protection: Europe
is providing a response to this war, not only at the level of high institutions, but also
at the level of civil society, of voluntary associations like yours. This way of reacting
is fundamental and indispensable, since it regenerates the human and social fabric,
in the presence of a wound so serious and so great as that caused by the war. We
must help the Ukrainian refugees, not only at this moment, but later, when the
memory of the war fades away, because at that time they will have more difficulties
than now: because now we are all together, and then … We must think about the
future, and it is not easy. […]