The Valley Catholic August 20, 2019 - Page 12

12 IN THE CHURCH August 20, 2019 | The Valley Catholic In New Interview, Pope Explains Aim of Synod, Warns Against Nationalism By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY -- The upcoming Synod of Bishops on the Amazon is an “urgent” gathering, not of scientists and politicians, but for the church, whose main focus in discussions will be evangelization, Pope Francis said in a new interview. However, the importance of the Am- azon region’s biodiversity and current threats it faces also will be addressed because “together with the oceans, (the Amazon) contributes decisively to the survival of the planet. Much of the oxygen we breathe comes from there. That’s why deforestation means killing humanity,” he said. The pope also talked about the dangers of surging nationalism and isolationist sentiments, saying, “I am worried because you hear speeches that resemble those by Hitler in 1934. ‘Us first, We... We ....’” Such thinking, he said, “is frighten- ing.” The pope’s comments came in an interview posted August 9 by “Vatican Insider,” the online news supplement to the Italian newspaper La Stampa. Asked about the dangers of “sover- eignism” or nationalism, the pope said it represented an attitude of “isolation” and closure. “A country must be sovereign, but not closed” inside itself, he said. National sovereignty, he said, “must be defended, but relations with other countries, with the European com- munity, must also be protected and promoted.” “Sovereignism,” on the other hand, he continued, is something that goes “too far” and “always ends badly -- it leads to war.” When asked about populism, the pope said it was one thing for people to be able to express their concerns, but quite another “to impose a populist at- titude on the people.” “The people are sovereign,” with their own way of thinking, feeling, judging and expressing themselves, he said, “while populism leads to forms of sovereignism. That suffix, ‘--ism,’ is never good.” Asked about “the right path to take when it comes to migrants,” the pope said, “First and foremost, never neglect the most important right of all: the right to life.” “Immigrants come above all to escape from war or hunger, from the Middle East and Africa,” he said. When it comes to war, “we must make an effort and fight for peace” as well as invest in Africa in ways that help the people there “resolve their problems and thus stop the migration flows.” Concerning immigrants already in Italian American Heritage Foundation proudly presents the ITALIAN FAMILY FESTA August 24 & 25 History Park San Jose WINE TASTING MUSIC JOIN US FOR MASS SAT 11-8pm one’s home country, certain “criteria must be followed,” he said. “First, to receive, which is also a Christian, Gospel duty. Doors should be opened, not closed. Second, to ac- company. Third, to promote. Fourth, to integrate” the newcomers in the host communities, he said. “At the same time, governments must think and act prudently, which is a virtue of government. Those in charge are called to think about how many migrants can be taken in.” If that threshold is reached, “the situation can be resolved through dia- logue with other countries” because some countries need people, especially Evening Under the Stars CULTURE AUG 25 @ 10:00 FREE ADMISSION Pope Francis is greeted by a member of an indigenous group from the Amazon region during a meeting at the Coliseo Regional Madre de Dios in Puerto Maldonado, Peru, Jan.19, 2018. The upcoming Synod of Bish- ops on the Amazon is an “urgent” gathering, not of scientists and politicians, but for the church whose main focus in discussions will be evangelization, Pope Francis said in a new interview. (CNS photo/Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters) for working in agriculture or for reviv- ing their economy and breathing new life into “half-empty towns” because of low birthrates, he said. When asked why he convened a synod on the Amazon, Pope Francis said, “It is the ‘child’ of Laudato Sí.’ Those who have not read it will never understand the Synod on the Amazon. Laudato Sí is not a green encyclical, it is a social encyclical, which is based on a ‘green’ reality, the safeguarding of creation.” Among the environmental issues the pope is concerned about, the one that “has shocked me the most,” he said, is the way resources are increas- ingly being consumed faster than they can be regenerated. “It’s very serious. It’s a global emer- gency,” he said, highlighting that “Earth Overshoot Day” fell this year on July 29 -- the day when resource consumption goes into “debt” because the annual de- mand on nature exceeds what the earth can regenerate in that year. The seriousness of the problem means “ours will be an urgent synod. But beware: a synod is not a meeting of scientists or politicians. It is not a par- liament; it is something else,” he said. The synod “is born” from the church “and will have an evangelizing mission and dimension. It will be a work of communion guided by the Holy Spirit,” the pope said. Pope Francis was asked whether the possibility of ordaining older, married men to minister in remote areas would be one of the main topics of discussion. The pope replied, “Absolutely not. It is simply one number” in the working document. The 45-page working document, which serves as a guide for discussions, contains 146 numbered items, outlining various topics. SUN 11-6pm italianfamilyfestasj.org | 408.293.7122 | @italianfestasj September 28, 2019 Dinner, Dancing & Auctions at San Damiano Retreat Buy tickets today at www.sandamiano.org 925.837.9141