Pope Francis once again reminded world leaders to “convert death into life, weapons into food” as he addressed this week a forum that discusses the “rebuilding” a post-pandemic world.
The pope said rebuilding after the pandemic is an opportunity to confront the failures of the past and to seek true equality and development for all peoples while rejecting false visions for humanity.
In a video message for the 2021 GLOBSEC Bratislava Forum, Pope Francis said the pandemic “forces us to confront a series of serious socio-economic, ecological and political issues.”
The forum gathers together presidents, prime ministers, government officials, NGO and business leaders in Europe and experts from around the world to discuss various pressing issues.
The event, which is taking place from June 15 to 17, aims to provide a space to discuss the renewal and rebuilding of trust in democracy and institutions, economic growth and recovery, and security, among others.
In his message, Pope Francis stressed the need for a serious analysis “of systemic failures, mistakes made and lack of responsibility towards the Creator, the neighbor, and the creation.
He urged policymakers to develop an idea of recovery that aims to “rebuild” and to “correct what was not working” even before the pandemic.
The pontiff warned against what he calls as “an illusory sense of security based on the hunger for profit.”
“I see a model of economic and social life, characterized by so many inequalities and selfishness, in which a tiny minority of the world’s population owns the majority of goods, often not hesitating to exploit people and resources,” said Pope Francis.
“I see a lifestyle that does not take enough care of the environment,” he said.
The pope returned to his constant call for caring for the “Common Home” and warned against “consuming and destroying without restraint” what belongs to everyone.
He said the global health crisis has opened up new possibilities and provides the challenge “to transform the time of trial into a time of choice.”
The pope said one comes out of a crisis “either … better or one comes out worse … but never the same.”
He then invited his audience to take steps forward, remembering that “no one saves themselves” and that “the crisis opens the way to a future that recognizes the true equality of every human being.”
“Those who do not act waste the opportunities offered by the crisis,” warned the pontiff as he stressed the need to adopt a methodology that includes “the ethics of solidarity” and “political charity.”
He said action requires an overarching vision of hope, “a vision like that of the biblical prophet Isaiah, who saw swords turning into ploughshares, spears into pruning hooks.”
“To act for the development of all people is to carry out a work of conversion,” said Pope Francis, as he praised “decisions that convert death into life, weapons into food.”