In the cradle of democracy, the Pope said that democracy requires the participation and commitment of all, effort and patience.
Democracy is complex, authoritarianism is firm, and the easy solace of populism is alluring – said Francis in a speech at the presidential palace. The head of state welcomed him there Ekaterini Saquilaropoulou.
In her speech, the Greek president emphasized, among other things, the Pope’s commitment to resolving the migration crisis and his interest in protecting the environment, as well as calls for bold decisions in response to climate change. – This is a priority for Europe – and she emphasized.
Francis, who came to the Greek capital 20 years after the historic visit of Saint Francis. John Paul II asserted that he comes as a pilgrim to places steeped in spirituality, culture and civilization.
Without Athens and Greece, Europe and the world would not be what it is. He saw that they would be less wise and less happy.
When there is a tendency in the West “to hide the need for heaven, to fall into the trap of a frenzied pursuit of a thousand worldly matters and insatiable greed to dehumanize consumerism,” Athena invites you to be astounded by the infinity, the beauty of being and the joy of faith.
And as mentioned, quoting Aristotle, it was in this city “Man realizes that he is a ‘political animal’, and, being part of a society, he sees in others not subjects but citizens.”
– This is where democracy was born. The pope said that this cradle, after thousands of years, has become the homeland, the great home of democratic nations: I mean the European Union and the dream of peace and fraternity that it embodies for many nations.
He pointed out that fatigue and dissatisfaction in many societies lead to a type of disease Democratic skepticism. But, he pointed out, there are also skepticism about democracy, caused by the remoteness of institutions, fear of loss of identity and bureaucracy.
Pointing out that the recipe for this is not an obsessive search for popularity, a desire to appear, to make impossible promises or adherence to abstract ideological colonization, but to good politics.
Pope He noted that one of the fathers of a united Europe, Alcide De Gasperi, used to say that moving forward meant “the pursuit of social justice”.
According to Francis, this is especially important now when “Fears, reinforced by virtual communication, are spreading every day and theories are being developed to oppose others.”
He called on politicians to move “from bias to participation; from engaging only in support of his party to actively engaging in promoting all.”
He pointed out that among the challenges that require cooperation Climate, epidemic, single market, and above all widespread poverty.
According to the Pope, the policy of pluralism is necessary not to be stifled by “excessive nationalist pretensions.”
In reference to the immigration problem, he called for solidarity. He noted that some Greek islands have accepted more immigrants than their own population, which has added to the hardships they are still feeling due to the economic crisis.
The Pope described the European position on immigration as a “procrastination.”
As assessed by the European Union – Torn by national egoism, instead of being an impetus for solidarity, it sometimes appears blocked and uncoordinated.
Francis spoke of the need for a “communal global view of the issue of migration”.
In his view, this vision should be implemented in such a way as to allow, according to each country’s capabilities, to accept, protect, promote and integrate migrants with full respect for their human rights and dignity.
He described the immigrants as “heroes of a terrible modern epic”.
From this city, from the cradle of this civilization, a message has sprung up and will always grow, directed towards the Most High and towards the other; who responds to the temptations of tyranny with democracy; The Pope said he compares individual indifference, concern for others and the poor, and finding the foundations for a renewal of humanism. As he explained, this is what Europe needs at present.
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