Sunday, January 15, 2006

Pope John Paul II: Christianity Excludes Racism

From Zenit, June 4, 2000:

JOHN PAUL II STATES CHRISTIANITY EXCLUDES RACISM Conclusion of Migrants' and Itinerants' Jubilee
VATICAN CITY, JUNE 4 ( On June 2, St. Peter's Square became the scene of a multiethnic festival, which included the participation of 30,000 immigrants, refugees, gypsies, circus performers, sailors, and many others, reflecting a vivid picture of the "catholic" character of the Church. The Migrants' and Itinerants' Jubilee culminated in a Mass celebrated by John Paul II, during which he made it very clear that one cannot be both a Catholic and a racist at the same time.
"Even today in the world there are narrow-minded attitudes, including rejection, due to unfounded fears and withdrawal into self interest," the Pontiff denounced. But, these are "discriminations that are incompatible with belonging to Christ and the Church. Furthermore, the Christian community is called to spread the yeast of fraternity and of coexistence in difference in the world."
Some 30,000 people listened to the Holy Father in St. Peter's Square. They waved flags from a variety of countries as well as the standards of port cities. There were persons of a wide variety of races and ethnic groups, which enlivened the meeting with the Pope. The musical background included Latin American rhythms, sacred choirs, and a nostalgic Gypsy violin. The largest fraction of participants were Filipinos, who constitute the most numerous Catholic immigrant community in Italy.
John Paul II emphasized two concepts. The first echoed the words of Paul VI at the end of Vatican II: "No one is a foreigner in the Catholic Church, no one is excluded and no one is far away." There are "no foreigners or guests but co-citizens with the saints and members of God's family."
The Holy Father articulated the second concept in conjunction with a request: "in a society like ours, which is complex and characterized by multiple divisions, the culture of acceptance must be combined with prudent laws and norms of wide horizons" making possible the appreciation "of the positive aspects of human mobility, guarding against its possible negative manifestation."
At the end of the homily, the Pope said that the Church has a specific proposal: to work so that our world, often referred to as the global village, "will really be more united, solidary, and welcoming."
During the Offertory, representatives of more than 22 million refugees and 50 million fugitives in the world gave the Pope a "Jubilee Charter of the Rights of Refugees and Fugitives," which, among other things, calls for the right not to be expelled from a country, to be heard by a competent authority, to live with dignity; the right of poor countries to be helped by the developed; the right of families separated by emigration to be united again; the right of minors and elderly to social protection; the right of children and adolescents to education and medical care; the right of refugees to return to their homeland with dignity and security; and the right of all to a homeland.

1 comment:

samrocha said...

very true!!Hi I just posted some cool quotes by JPII. I have enjoyed reading through your archives (i linked over here from a blog search) I would love to establish a reciprocal link with your blog, if you're interested, let me know

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