Francis calls for overcoming divisive approaches

Pope: Marxists and Christians have a common mission

Vatican City - Pope Francis wants "the courage to step outside the box" and an opening in dialogue for "new paths". Christians as well as socialists, Marxists and communists have a common mission, said the Pontiff, citing practical examples.

Published  on 10.01.2024 at 16:43  – 

Pope Francis encouraged the Marxist-Christian dialogue group Dialop to work together for the disadvantaged and against corruption and abuse of power. Christians as well as socialists, Marxists and communists should build a "better, fraternal future" for a world divided by wars and polarisation, said Francis at a reception in the Vatican on Wednesday. He said it was important to overcome rigid, divisive approaches, conduct disputes with an open heart and listen to one another without excluding anyone on political, social or religious grounds.

"Do not allow finance and the market to dictate the law," the Pope urged his guests. They should "not stop dreaming of a better world", in which ideals such as freedom, equality, dignity and fraternity are upheld; these ideals are a "mirror of God's dream" for humanity.

The Pope wished for "the courage to step outside the box", as well as an openness in dialogue for "new paths". Full attention must be paid to the weak: the poor, the unemployed, the homeless, migrants, the exploited and all those who are marginalised by a throwaway culture. Dealing with them is the measure of a civilisation. The great dictatorships such as National Socialism had discarded and even killed precisely these groups, Francis recalled.

Service for the people

In order to achieve solidarity and justice, systems of inequality must be purified in their intentions, "also through radical changes of perspective in the distribution of challenges and resources between people and peoples", Pope Francis demanded. His creativity must be put at the service of a more humane society.

The "Dialop" dialogue platform is dedicated to dialogue between Christians and socialists or Marxists . Together with educational institutions, the members work on social ethics and ecology, combining Marxist ideas and Catholic social teaching. The initial impetus for this was provided by a meeting between Pope Francis and the future Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in 2014.

During the audience, the platform presented its activities of the past ten years to the Pope, some of which were also supported by the Vatican's cultural and educational authorities. It was a "beautiful programme", praised Francis. Among the 15 participants were Luisa Sello from the Focolare Movement in Vienna and Berlin-based Cornelia Hildebrandt, who is also Co-President of the "transform!europe" network. (KNA)