A few days before Pope Francis arrives in Marseille, to attend the Mediterranean Bishops’ Assembly, it is good to remember who the Pope is to avoid falling into the pit of comments with a purely political, or even political, tone. In the face of migration, economic and environmental crises, the policies implemented by states demonstrate their inability.
The Pope’s visit to Marseille: “Pope Francis can bring a little peace”
The voice of Pope Francis proposing arrangements is often seen as just another political leader. This is not the case. His critical and prophetic word is not a program, but an invitation. His vision of the challenges to be faced cannot limit anyone. It awakens awareness of what we do not wish to see or understand. If his freedom of expression is considered disturbing, utopian, or even dangerous, it is because it is received only by putting it into practice, and not at the level of moral reasoning.
Average unit matrix
However, the responsibility that lies with political authorities alone in the short term does not preclude an innovative and bold approach in the long term. The Pope’s presence in Marseille can already be understood in light of the words he said on the occasion of his visit to Lisbon, Portugal in August 2023.
Pope Francis in Marseille: The Mediterranean and its Challenges in Seven Maps
He says : “Today we know that the great issues are global, while we are often faced with ineffectiveness in responding to them, precisely because the world, in the face of common problems, is divided, or at least not united enough, and unable to jointly confront what It puts the world in crisis. Global injustice, wars, climate crises and migration seem to be moving faster than the ability, and often times, the will, to confront these challenges together. (…) The world needs a real Europe: it needs its role as a bridge builder and peacemaker in its eastern part, in the Mediterranean, in Africa and in the Middle East. (1).
Laurent Gaudí: “What a strange word ‘Mediterranean’”
Pope Francis views the Mediterranean as a matrix of unity. By leaning on its shores that unite such different countries, Francis wants to remind us that divisions are never without influence, that they become an aggravating factor for problems that need to be solved, because they cannot be solved together. Divisions are the fuel of human misery.
The Pope is not just a politician
François added what he is the only one who dares to say: Technology, which has contributed to the progress and globalization of the world, is not sufficient in itself. Not to mention the most advanced weapons, which in no way constitute investments for the future, but lead to the impoverishment of real human capital, that is, human capital in education, health and social protection. It is disturbing to read that in many places money is continually being invested in weapons rather than in children’s futures. »
The Pope deserves Mass
Pope Francis is above all a religious leader in the service of the human family, its unity and the fraternity it is called to realize. Reducing the Pope’s words to the sole dimension of a political leader makes us lose the necessary hope that he embodies. He urges this “A good policy is capable of generating hope (…), capable of correcting economic imbalances” But he does not make state policies for them. It is precisely this game of latency between the Pope’s speech and the governments’ reaction that media commentary has the most difficulty understanding.
Religious coexistence in Marseille is a reality undermined by fractures
“In the general context of globalization that brings us closer together, without providing fraternal closeness, we are all called to develop a sense of community, starting by looking out for those who live nearby. “The Pope’s words resonate like a call. By coming to the Mediterranean meetings, faithful to the service of fraternity, Francis hopes that the Mediterranean will become a “sea of brotherhood” from a cemetery! “She knows it’s going to be a long road,” Monsignor Jean-Marc Avelin (2) explained, But even more than a dream, it is his hope. »
Podcast – Place of Religions, Marseille: Beach