POPE FRANCIS CONGRATULATES NEW EMPEROR OF JAPAN, NARUHITO
The new Japanese emperor Naruhito, took up his post on Wednesday, a day after his father gave up the throne in the country’s first abdication in two centuries.
Former Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko stepped down on Tuesday after three decades as the nation’s top royals in a brief, simple ceremony, with Akihito thanking the people of Japan and saying he prayed for peace.
Pope Francis sent a congratulatory telegram to Emperor Naruhito, assuring the 59-year old Japanese head of state his prayers and divine blessing on the imperial family and the nation:
His Imperial Majesty
Emperor of Japan
I extend to Your Majesty my cordial greetings and best wishes on the occasion of your solemn accession to the throne, and I assure you of my prayers that you may be endowed always with the gifts of wisdom and strength in your dedicated service to the nation. Upon you, the Members of the Imperial Family and all the people of Japan, I invoke the divine blessings of peace and well-being. FRANCISCUS PP.
POPE ON GROWING THREAT OF “CONFLICTUAL NATIONALISM,” NUCLEAR WAR
Pope Francis addressed some 50 members of the Vatican’s Pontifical
Academy of Social Sciences, who are discussing the theme, “Nation,
State, Nation-State”, during their plenary assembly, May 1-3.
By Robin Gomes (Vaticannews)
Pope Francis on Thursday expressed concern over the re-emergence of
aggressive feelings against foreigners, especially immigrants, as well
as a growing nationalism that neglects the common good, saying such
trends compromise international cooperation, mutual respect and the
sustainable development goals of the United Nations.
Speaking to some 50 members of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of
Social Sciences, the Holy Father also expressed fears over the growing
threat of nuclear confrontation that risks cancelling the progress of
the recent past and multiplies the risk of war.
The Pope spoke to the Pontifical Academy in the light of its May 1-3
plenary assembly on “Nation, State, Nation-State”, in the backdrop of
a growing trend in exclusivist nationalism.
Migration and conflictual nationalism
The Pope pointed out that the Church has always urged the love of
one’s own people and country while respecting the various cultures,
customs and habits of other peoples. At the same time it has warned
against deviations in this attachment that result in excluding and
hating others when it becomes “conflictual nationalism that raises
walls, even racism or anti-Semitism.”
He noted that, too often, states are subservient to the interests of a
dominant group, mostly for reasons of economic profit, which oppresses
the ethnic, linguistic or religious minorities who are in their
On the contrary, the Pope pointed out, “the way in which a nation
welcomes migrants reveals its vision of human dignity and its
relationship with humanity.”
He urged that a person or a family, forced to leave their own land, be
welcomed with humanity. In this regard he repeated his 4-verb formula
of how to receive a migrant, namely: welcoming, protecting, promoting
While stressing that the migrant is not a threat to the culture,
customs and values of the host nation, the migrant also has a duty to
integrate into the receiving nation, enriching the host while
maintaining his identity.
Pope Francis pointed out that migration is a permanent feature of
human history, and all nations are the result of the integration of
successive waves of people or groups of migrants, who while being
images of the diversity of humanity, are united by common values,
cultural resources and healthy customs.
“A state that arouses the nationalistic feelings of its own people
against other nations or groups of people would fail in its mission,”
he warned, adding history proves where such deviations lead to.
Speaking about the nation-state, the Pope said it cannot be regarded
as absolute and an island in relation to its surroundings and on its
own; it cannot provide its people with the common good and meet the
great contemporary challenges of climate change, new slavery and
The cooperative vision among nations, the Pope said, requires the
relaunching of multilateralism, which is opposed to new nationalistic
impulses and hegemonic policy.
“Humanity would thus avoid the threat of recourse to armed conflicts
whenever a dispute arises between nation-states, as well as evading
the danger of economic and ideological colonization of the
superpowers, avoiding the overwhelming of the strongest over the
weakest, paying attention to the global dimension without losing sight
of the local, national and regional dimensions.”
As opposed to a globalization that levels differences and suffocates
localization and leads to the re-emergence of nationalism and
hegemonic imperialism, the Pope called for a “multifaceted” form of
globalization based on mutual recognition between the collective
identity of each people, nation and globalization itself, which leads
to a general state of peace and harmony.
The multilateral bodies, the Pope said, have been created in the hope
of being able to replace the logic of revenge, domination, oppression
and conflict with that of dialogue, mediation, compromise, harmony and
the awareness of belonging to the same humanity in the common home.
On the other hand, the growing hegemony of powers and interest groups
that impose their own visions and ideas, as well as new forms of
ideological colonization, often disregarding the identity, customs and
habits, dignity and sensitivity of the peoples concerned. The
emergence of such tendencies is weakening the multilateral system,
with the result of a lack of credibility in international politics and
a progressive marginalization of the most vulnerable members of the
family of nations.
Pope Francis lamented that today the season of multilateral nuclear
disarmament seems outdated and no longer stirs the political
conscience of nations that possess atomic weapons. On the contrary, he
said, a new season of worrying nuclear confrontation seems to be
opening, because it cancels the progress of the recent past and
multiplies the risk of war.
If the offensive and defensive nuclear arms will now be placed on
earth and space, the Pope warned, the so-called new technical frontier
will have raised and not lowered the danger of a nuclear holocaust.
The Pope concluded urging the members of the Pontifical Academy of
Social Sciences to help him spread the awareness of a renewed
international solidarity with respect for human dignity, the common
good, respect for the planet and the supreme good of peace.