The Pope received yesterday for thirty-five minutes, in the Vatican, the President of the Government, Pedro Sanchez, before whom he warned that ideologies sectarianize and that politics “is not a question of maneuvering”.
Sánchez, accompanied by his wife, Begoña Gómez; the ambassador to the Holy See, Carmen de la Peña; and other members of his delegation, had the opportunity to attend an unusual gesture at the Pontiff’s receptions for heads of state and government from around the world. It was an improvised speech, lasting six minutes, in which Francisco wanted to make clear his concern for the danger represented by nationalisms and “the ideologies that take over” the nation.
It is very sad,” said the Pope, “when ideologies take over the interpretation of a nation, of a country, and disfigure the homeland. And he emphasized: “Ideologies sectarianize, ideologies deconstruct the homeland, they do not build”.
Recalling what Paul VI said, Francis pointed out that politics is one of the highest forms of charity. “Politics is not only an art, it is an act of charity that ennobles and many times leads to sacrifice”, he affirmed, while warning that politics “is not a matter of maneuvers” or “of solving cases, that every day arrive at the politicians’ desk, but of service”.
Concerned about the current situation in the world and the parallels with the moments before World War II, the Holy Father alluded to the book “Syndrome 1933”, Siegmund Ginzberg, an Italian intellectual from the Communist Party, who in that work referred to Germany. “With the fall of the Weimar empire,” said the Pope, “a salad of possibilities began to emerge from the crisis. There began an ideology, the road of National Socialism, and it continued until it reached what we know: the drama of Europe with that homeland invented by an ideology,” in reference to the regime of Adolf Hitler.
In his speech he also insisted on the idea that a politician holds in his hands “the country, the nation and the homeland. “A politician has enough work, so it is not easy for him. You should convey to the members of your Parliament what the Pope thinks of this and the great respect for the political vocation, one of the highest forms of charity,” he concluded.
After what was the first meeting between Pope Francisco and the head of the Executive, the Vatican highlighted in a statement the “opportunity for constant dialogue” between the Spanish Church and the government of Sanchez, in addition to addressing issues of an international nature such as “the current health emergency, the process of European integration and migration. For their part, from Moncloa, they mentioned other issues addressed such as globalization, climate change, migration and education.
The Pope gave the President of the Spanish Government a patinated bronze relief framing the figure of a woman with a child in her arms entering the column in St. Peter’s Square, large hands intertwined as a sign of brotherhood and a boat still in the water with migrants, as well as the most important writings that constitute the roadmap of his pontificate. For his part, Sánchez gave Francisco a facsimile of the ‘Book of Hours’ by Bishop Juan Rodríguez de Fonseca.
Later, the President of the Government met with the Secretary of State Relations, Monsignor Paul Richard Gallagher, before returning to Spain.