23 October 2018 | Speeches


Patristic Institute Augustinianum

[…] Thank you. I liked that “I do not talk about politics, but I talk about humanity”.
This is wise. Young people do not have the experience of the two wars. I learned from
my grandfather who did the first, on the Piave, I learned so many things, from his
story. Even the songs a bit ‘ironic against the king and the queen, I learned all this.
The pains, the pains of the war … What leaves a war? Millions of dead, in the great
massacre. Then the second came, and I met her in Buenos Aires with so many
migrants who arrived: many, many, many, after the Second World War. Italians,
Poles, Germans … many, many. And listening to them I understood, we all
understood what a war was, that we did not know. I think it is important for young
people to know the effects of the two wars of the last century: it is a treasure,
negative, but a treasure to transmit, to create consciences. A treasure that has also
made Italian art grow: the post-war cinema is a school of humanism. That they know
this is important, so as not to fall into the same mistake. That they know how
populism grows: for example, we think of Hitler ’32 -’33, that young man who
promised the development of Germany after a failed government. Let them know
how they begin, populisms. You said a very ugly but very real word: “sow hatred”.
And one can not live by sowing hatred. We, in the religious experience of the history
of religion, think of the Reformation: we have sown hatred, both on both sides,
Protestants and Catholics. I have said this explicitly to Lund [in Sweden, in the
ecumenical meeting], and now for 50 years we have slowly realized that this was not
the way and we are trying to sow gestures of friendship and not of division. Sowing
hatred is easy, and not only on the international scene, even in the neighborhood.
One goes, sparla of a neighbor, of a neighbor, sows hatred and when sowing hatred
there is division, there is malice, in everyday life. Sowing hate with the comments,
with the chatter … From the great war I go down to the talk, but they are of the
same species. Sowing hate even with the talk in the family, in the neighborhood, is
to kill: kill the fame of others, kill peace and harmony in the family, in the
neighborhood, in the workplace, grow jealousies, competitions that the first girl spoke
about . What do I do – it was his question – when I see that the Mediterranean is a
cemetery? I, I tell you the truth, I suffer, I pray, I speak. We must not accept this
suffering. Do not say “but, you suffer everywhere, let’s move on …”. No, this is not
right. Today there is the third world war in pieces: a piece here, a piece there, and
there, and there … Look at the places of conflict. Lack of humanity, aggression,
hatred between cultures, among tribes, even a deformation of religion to be able to
hate better. This is not a road: this is the path of humanity’s suicide. Sowing hate,
prepare for the third world war, which is going on in pieces. And I think I do not
exaggerate in this. It reminds me – and this must be said to young people – that
Einstein’s prophecy: “The fourth world war will be made with stones and sticks”,
because the third will have destroyed everything. Sowing hatred and growing hatred,
creating violence and division is a path of destruction, of suicide, of other
destructions. This can be covered [justify] with freedom, it can be covered for many
reasons! That young man of the last century, in the ’30s, covered him with the purity
of the race; and here, the migrants. Welcoming the migrant is a biblical mandate,
because “you yourself have been a migrant to Egypt” (cf. Lv 19,34). Then we think:
Europe has been made by migrants, so many migratory currents have made Europe
today, cultures have been mixed. And Europe knows very well that in moments bad
other countries, of America, for example, both North and South, have welcomed
migrants Europeans, know what this means. We must resume, before expressing a
judgment on the problem of migration, resume our European history. I am the son
of a migrant who went to Argentina, and many, in America, many have an Italian
surname, they are migrants. Greeted with the heart and with the doors open. But
closure is the beginning of suicide. It is true that migrants must be welcomed, must
be accompanied, but above all must be integrated. If we welcome “so” [as it happens,
without a plan], we do not do a good service: there is the work of integration. Sweden
has been an example for more than 40 years, in this. I lived it closely: how many
Argentineans and Uruguayans, at the time of our military dictatorships, were
refugees in Sweden. And immediately they integrated them, immediately. School,
work … Integrated into society. And when last year I was in Lund, the Prime Minister
received me at the airport, and then, since he could not come to him take leave, sent
a minister, I believe in culture … In Sweden, where they are all blond, this was a bit
‘brunette: a Minister of culture so … Then I heard that she was the daughter of a
Swedish and an African migrant. So integrated that it has come to be Minister of the
Country. This is how things are integrated. Instead, the tragedy we all remember of
Zaventem [in Belgium], had not been made by foreigners: they made it young
Belgians! But young Belgians who had been ghettoized in a neighborhood. Yes, they
were received but not integrated. And this is not the way. A government must have
– these are the criteria – the open heart to receive, the good structures to make the
road of integration and also the prudence of saying: up to this point, I can, beyond I
can. And that is why it is important for all of Europe to agree on this problem. On the
contrary, the strongest weight is brought by Italy, Greece, Spain, Cyprus a bit, these
three-four countries … It is important. But, please do not sow hatred. And today, I
would ask you please to look at all the new European cemetery: it is called the
Mediterranean, is called the Aegean. This to me is to say to you. And thank you for
having asked that question, not for politics, but for humanity. Thank you! […]