The Holy Father’s Video-Message to the Participants in the 16th
Edition of the GLOBSEC Bratislava Forum (June 15-17, 2021)
Here is an Exaudi working translation of the video-message that the Holy Father Francis sent to the participants in the 16th edition of the GLOBSEC Bratislava Forum, dedicated to the theme: “Rebuild the World Back Better.”
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The Holy Father’s Video-Message
Thank you for your kind invitation to take part, through this video-message, in the 16th edition of the GLOBSEC Bratislava Forum, dedicated to the theme: “Rebuild the World Back Better.”
I greet you, all the organizers and participants in this Conference. I would like to express my gratitude for the platform that the Bratislava Forum offers to the important debate on the reconstruction of our world after the pandemic experience, which forces us to confront each other with a series of grave socio-economic, ecological and political questions all related to each other.
In this connection, I would like to suggest some points, taking inspiration from the method of the trinomial see – judge – act.
A serious and honest analysis of the past, which includes acknowledgment of the systematic failures, the errors committed and the lack of responsibility to the Creator, one’s neighbour and Creation, seems to me indispensable to develop an idea of resumption aimed not only to reconstruct what was, but to correct what didn’t function even before the advent of the Coronavirus, and which has in fact contributed to the collapse and to recognize the elements of responsibility.
Hence, I see a world that has been deceived by an illusory sense of security founded on the hunger for earnings.
I see a model of economic and social life, characterized by so many inequalities and egoisms, in which a small minority of the global population has the majority of goods, often not hesitating to exploit people and resources.
I see a style of life that does not take enough care of the environment. We have become accustomed to consume and destroy without restraint what belongs to all and must be guarded with respect, creating an “ecological debt” borne first of all by the poor and by future generations.
The second step is to evaluate what has been seen. On greeting my collaborators of the Roman Curia, on the occasion of last Christmas, I engaged in a brief reflection on the meaning of the crisis. The crisis opens new possibilities: in fact, it’s an open challenge to address the current situation, to transform the time of trial into a time of choice. A crisis, in fact, forces one to choose for the good or for the bad. As I have already repeated one doesn’t come out the same from a crisis: either one comes out better or one comes out worse, but never the same.
To judge what we have seen and lived spurs us to improve. Let us take advantage of this time to take steps forward. The crisis, which has affected everyone, reminds us that nobody saves himself alone. The crisis opens the way for us to a future that recognizes the true equality of every human being: not an abstract but a concrete equality, which offers persons and peoples fair and real opportunities of development.
He who doesn’t act wastes the opportunities offered by the crisis. To act, in face of the social injustices and marginalization requires a development model that puts “every man and the whole man” at the center, “as the fundamental pillar to respect and protect, adopting a methodology that includes the ethic of solidarity and ‘political charity’” (Message to the Director of UNESCO. Mrs Audrey Azoulay, March 24, 2021).
Every action needs an overall vision and one of hope: a vision as that of the biblical Prophet Isaiah, who saw swords turned into ploughshares, spears into pruning hooks (cf. Isaiah 2:4). To act for the development of all puts in place a work of conversion and, first of all, decisions that convert death into life, arms into food.
But we all also need to undertake an ecological conversion. In fact, the overall vision includes the perspective of Creation understood as “common home,” and requires that we act urgently to protect it.
Dear friends, animated by the hope that comes from God, I hope that your exchanges of these days will contribute to a model of recovery that is able to generate more inclusive and sustainable solutions; a model of development that is founded on peaceful coexistence between peoples and harmony with Creation.
Thanks, and good luck with your work!
[Original text: Italian] [Exaudi’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]