Pope Says Diversity is Not to be Feared

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Writer
While addressing ambassadors to the Holy See today, the Pope praised the world’s diversity as something to be admired, not feared.

Speaking to them jointly in French, he greeted 11 ambassadors from nations as disparate as Sweden and Iceland to Bahrain and the Fiji Islands.

“The diversity of your provenance gives me cause to thank God for His creative love and for the multiplicity of His gifts, which never cease to surprise humanity,” the pope said.

“It is a teaching. At times diversity causes fear, which is why it is not to be wondered at if human beings prefer the monotony of uniformity. Some political-economic systems, claiming pagan or religious origins, have afflicted humanity for too long, attempting to render it the same through demagogy and violence. Those systems have reduced and continue to reduce the human being to a wretched slavery at the service of a single ideology or of an inhuman and pseudo-scientific economy.”
There is no single political model, he said. “Each country has a characteristic genius and some ‘demons’, and each progresses along a path, which is at times painful but its own, toward a future that seems bright.”

He expressed the desire that “each people cultivate the qualities that characterize it in order to enrich others and to purify its ‘demons’, bringing them under control so that they might defend the greatness of human dignity.”
After emphasizing the fact that the duty of an ambassador is to search for and promote peace, he explained: “(P)eace is not just a political or military situation without conflict; rather it is the sum of conditions that allow concord among all and the personal development of each.”

True peace is not possible without justice, he said, then went on to explain that the Hebrew word for “peace” refers to what “is adjusted.
“God’s justice is shown in the justness that puts all things in their place, all things in order, so that the world might be adjusted to God’s plan and His order.”

This peace must ultimately embrace our diversity so that we can all coexist in a world where we are free to practice our faith, live our beliefs, “and thus achieve God’s justness,” he said.

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