The Pope meets 7,000 students of the Schools for Peace: “The culture of destruction is growing”. Criticism to the US Moab (Mother of all bombs) and to the Le Pen-Macron debate in France: “They were throwing stones. Where was the dialogue? A bad example.” “No more workforce exploitation”.
Bombed and slaughtered children, migrants, illegal laborers and women victims of exploitation, in an increasingly abused Creation: it is clear that “a culture of destruction is growing among us.” There is regret in Pope Francis’ crude but realistic analysis addressed to about 7,000 boys and girls from the Italian “Schools of Peace” in the Paul VI Hall. Bergoglio answered to questions on war and injustice coming from the young participants to the initiative promoted by the Ministry of Public Education (Valeria Fedeli, who was present in the lecture hall), in collaboration with the National Coordination of Local Authorities for Peace and Human Rights and the Dicastery for the Service of the integral human development of the Holy See. For example, the Pope expressed his feeling deeply “ashamed” in hearing the name Moab (Mother of all bombs) to call the “super-bomb” released a month ago on Afghanistan by the USA. “They called it the mother of all the bombs.” A Mom gives life while this gives death! And yet we call that device Mom. I felt ashamed …” he confesses.
“A culture of destruction has grown and is growing among us,” the Pope denounces, emphasizing on today’s dramatic migrants’ situation as “the greatest tragedy after the Second World War,” a view also shared by many sociologists. “We are living – Bergoglio points out – a world at war. You ought to say it, you, that are the School of Peace say: “The world is at war.” That if someone bombs here, “but no, but it is a hospital, a school, there are the sick, the children!” “Oh, but it doesn’t matter!” And there goes the bomb. At some point I do not know what happens: it destroys so much. “Fratricidal conflicts are not something new, they “started in the beginning, with Cain’s jealousy, he killed his brother Abel with a knife, he destroyed him.” This cruelty, the Pope notes, seems to grow more and more: “We see it on TV every day. Today we have seen children being slaughtered.”
Francis is equally ashamed of “another kind of business from which the world is profiting”: the exploitation of people. “Children aged 7, 8, 9 without education who are forced to work. The exploitation of people who are paid 2 cents for half a day of work.” And again: “Traffic of arms, drugs and people, children and women” that “are sold to be exploited.” “These are business affairs that help the Mighty Money grow. This is what dominates the world, and this is also happening here in Europe, in Italy. Here people are exploited when they are paid under the table, with short term contracts from September to May, and then they are left home to maybe be rehired in September as way to avoid paying taxes “This too is a form of “destruction”, and adds, exploitation “is a mortal sin.”
With such hardness, Bergoglio once again stigmatizes the “terrorism of gossip”, and warns the boys and girls, “Who is used to gossiping is a terrorist”. The pope acknowledges that he is being repetitive but he reiterates that “Gossip is like a bomb that explodes and kills. He then gives “an advice for everyone: if you want to gossip, please bite your tongue. It will hurt your tongue a little, but you will not be a terrorist.” The Pope recommends also to stop insulting each other and the “litany of name calling”: One goes on the road in peak hours, and maybe a motorbike or a car turns the wrong way and instead of saying “I’m sorry “, the litany of name calling begins, one after the other.” “We are accustomed to insulting each other,” instead of clarifying, “we start insulting immediately, we refer to people not by saying “that guy” but we add those adjectives, that I obviously can’t repeat but I’m sure you all know them well. “Calling people names hurts. It hurts their heart,” the Pope warns, and as an example he cites the recent debate in France between the two candidates, Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron. “I’m not saying this as Pope, but as someone who has heard (but not seen) what happened in the pre-election dialogue: where was the dialogue there? They were throwing stones, never letting each other finish, using strong words. But if at such a high level they can’t manage to dialogue, then the challenge of dialogue is up to you!”. He therefore invites them to take “20 minutes to read the Letter to the Apostle James. It is short … He says that the man and woman who dominate language are perfect. ”
This article continues at [Vatican Insider] “It is shameful to call ‘mother’ a bomb”