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Pope Francis: ‘Instances of a Myopic, Extremist, Resentful and Aggressive Nationalism Are on the Rise’

By CNSNews.com Staff | October 23, 2020 | 2:29pm EDT
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Pope Francis published an encyclical letter—“Fratelli Tutti”—this month in which he argues that “a myopic, extremist, resentful and aggressive nationalism” is on the rise in this world.

The pope noted in a section of the letter subtitled “Shattered Dreams” that in the recent past the world looked like it was moving toward “integration”—as exemplified by the European Union.

“For decades, it seemed that the world had learned a lesson from its many wars and disasters, and was slowly moving towards various forms of integration,” said the pope.

“For example, there was the dream of a united Europe, capable of acknowledging its shared roots and rejoicing in its rich diversity,” he said.

“We think of ‘the firm conviction of the founders of the European Union, who envisioned a future based on the capacity to work together in bridging divisions and in fostering peace and fellowship between all the peoples of this continent,’” he said.

“There was also a growing desire for integration in Latin America, and several steps were taken in this direction,” he said. “In some countries and regions, attempts at reconciliation and rapprochement proved fruitful, while others showed great promise.”

But, then, Pope Francis argues there came a “regression” toward “resentful and aggressive nationalism.”

“Our own days, however, seem to be showing signs of a certain regression,” said the pope.

“Ancient conflicts thought long buried are breaking out anew, while instances of a myopic, extremist, resentful and aggressive nationalism are on the rise,” he said.

“In some countries, a concept of popular and national unity influenced by various ideologies is creating new forms of selfishness and a loss of the social sense under the guise of defending national interests,” said the pope.

“Once more we are being reminded,” he said, “that ‘each new generation must take up the struggles and attainments of past generations, while setting its sights even higher. This is the path. Goodness, together with love, justice and solidarity, are not achieved once and for all; they have to be realized each day.

“It is not possible to settle for what was achieved in the past and complacently enjoy it, as if we could somehow disregard the fact that many of our brothers and sisters still endure situations that cry out for our attention,” he said.

Here is an excerpt from the part of Pope Francis’s encyclical letter where he says that “instances of a myopic, extremist, resentful and aggressive nationalism are on the rise:”

“SHATTERED DREAMS

“10. For decades, it seemed that the world had learned a lesson from its many wars and disasters, and was slowly moving towards various forms of integration. For example, there was the dream of a united Europe, capable of acknowledging its shared roots and rejoicing in its rich diversity. We think of ‘the firm conviction of the founders of the European Union, who envisioned a future based on the capacity to work together in bridging divisions and in fostering peace and fellowship between all the peoples of this continent.’ There was also a growing desire for integration in Latin America, and several steps were taken in this direction. In some countries and regions, attempts at reconciliation and rapprochement proved fruitful, while others showed great promise.

“11. Our own days, however, seem to be showing signs of a certain regression. Ancient conflicts thought long buried are breaking out anew, while instances of a myopic, extremist, resentful and aggressive nationalism are on the rise. In some countries, a concept of popular and national unity influenced by various ideologies is creating new forms of selfishness and a loss of the social sense under the guise of defending national interests. Once more we are being reminded that ‘each new generation must take up the struggles and attainments of past generations, while setting its sights even higher. This is the path. Goodness, together with love, justice and solidarity, are not achieved once and for all; they have to be realized each day. It is not possible to settle for what was achieved in the past and complacently enjoy it, as if we could somehow disregard the fact that many of our brothers and sisters still endure situations that cry out for our attention.’

“12. ‘Opening up to the world’ is an expression that has been co-opted by the economic and financial sector and is now used exclusively of openness to foreign interests or to the freedom of economic powers to invest without obstacles or complications in all countries. Local conflicts and disregard for the common good are exploited by the global economy in order to impose a single cultural model. This culture unifies the world, but divides persons and nations, for ‘as society becomes ever more globalized, it makes us neighbours, but does not make us brothers.’ We are more alone than ever in an increasingly massified world that promotes individual interests and weakens the communitarian dimension of life. Indeed, there are markets where individuals become mere consumers or bystanders. As a rule, the advance of this kind of globalism strengthens the identity of the more powerful, who can protect themselves, but it tends to diminish the identity of the weaker and poorer regions, making them more vulnerable and dependent. In this way, political life becomes increasingly fragile in the face of transnational economic powers that operate with the principle of ‘divide and conquer.’”

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