Pope Francis was giving his yearly talk to the Vatican’s diplomats the last week when he went off on a tangent talking about nationalism and its various ills when discussing the broader topic of multilateralism in International Relations. The Catholic pontiff reminded his audience that this year marks the centenary of the League of Nations and warned them about how the present day supposedly carries with it the same “resurgence of nationalist tendencies” which ultimately doomed that promising organization, obviously alluding to the rise of fascism that eventually led to World War II. To his credit, however, he did acknowledge that some of this “is a consequence of the reaction in some parts of the world to a globalization that has in some respects developed in too rapid and disorderly a manner”.
Even so, he lashed out against what he described as “the search for a quick partisan consensus” that some in the international media interpreted as a jab against Trump. It’s no secret that Francis hates nationalism because he probably blames it for the crimes that were carried out by the right-wing government of his native Argentina during parts of the Old Cold War, but it’s ironic that he himself is functioning as a partisan activist of sorts by fighting against it and doing so under the cover of God, which is controversial for some Christians and others. Francis’ solution to today’s populist challenges is what he called “polyhedric globalization”, which he conceptualizes as “a positive interplay between the identity of individual peoples and countries and globalization itself, in accordance with the principle that the whole is greater than the part.”
It’s understandable why a religious figure would promote what he believes to be the ‘common good’, and he even went on to emphasize this overall idea when elaborating on the four characteristics, responsibilities, and purposes of multilateral diplomacy that St. Paul VI told the UN during the first time that a pope ever addressed that globalist body. He reminded them of the “primacy of justice and law”, “defense of the most vulnerable” (which Francis said includes migrants), being a “bridge between people and builders of peace”, and “rethinking common destiny”. Altogether, however, the larger point of partisan contention remains, and it’s that Francis is clearly using his religious pulpit to fearmonger about nationalism, establishing himself as a crusader against it in a similar way to how his predecessor John Paul II fought against communism.
The post presented is the partial transcript of the CONTEXT COUNTDOWN radio program on Sputnik News, aired on Friday Jan 11, 2019:
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