Pope Francis interview in Il Mattino addresses many local and global issues

Pope Francis: It is time for humanity to change course

News Southern Italy

In an interview with “Il Mattino” for the 130th anniversary of the newspaper, Pope Francis addresses a range of topics.  The pope also emphsaises the need for everyone to work together.

From war to the difficulties of the Italian south to those of the world, Pope Francis addresses a breadth of subjects in his interview with Neapolitan newspaper, Il Mattino. The pope also considered politics as the highest form of charity, to the scourge of organised crime. He talked about the devastation of the environment, with a particular reference to the Terra dei fuochi (land of fires) and the floods in the Marche region of Italy.

Pope Francis emphasised once again the need to work together to address the ongoing problems of war, pandemic, and poverty. “Only by discovering what unites us, brothers and sisters, will we find the way out of the crisis we are going through, which did not begin today…”

Issues in the south are also “global issues”

Although the interview focused especially on issues facing Naples and southern Italy, Pope Francis made it clear the problems they are facing “are global issues.” These are questions that “concern the future of the whole world,” the Pope said.

“We have not awakened to wars and planetary injustice; we have not listened to the cry of the poor, and of our gravely ill planet.”

The world needs to change course

Pope Francis insisted on the need to “change course,” saying we are all challenged to do so. Today “is a time of trial, a time of choice… It is time to reset the course.”

In particular, he pointed to the need for sustainable and integral development; new ways of understanding the economy and progress; of debt-relief for developing countries; and the need to put an end to the exploitation of the earth, the arms race; and, the exploitation of people, especially children.

Addressing the question of war, Pope Francis said today we are measured by the war in Ukraine, but also by many other wars. He quoted St John Paul II, who, writing in the wake of the terrorist attack on 9/11, said that “the shattered order cannot be fully restored until justice and forgiveness are combined.”

“The pillars of true peace are justice and forgiveness, which is a particular form of love”. He added, “There is a time for everything. Before forgiveness comes the condemnation of evil. It is essential, however, not to cultivate war, but to prepare peace, to sow peace.”

Environment must be a priority

The Pope also addressed the issue of care for the environment. He mentioned especially the context of the Terra dei Fuochi (the “land of fires”) near Naples, and the devastating floods in Marche.

He repeated once again that “everything is connected,” saying we must “start again” from this awareness. “Today, it is indispensable,” he said, “that every single person and the entire international community assume as a priority the ecological commitment to collegial, solidarity-based, and far-sighted actions.”

Politics and the Church

The interview also touched on a number of other topics. These included the role of the Church in politics, which the pope described as “the art of encounter” and “the highest form of charity”.

Pope Francis also commented on the “scourge” of organised crime; and what the world can learn from the global south in terms of solidarity and its relationship with time, history, and the land.

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