In a video address to the 2021 Bratislava Forum, the pope urged political leaders to tackle the world’s socio-economic, ecological and political issues.
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In a video message to global leaders attending the 2021 Bratislava Forum, Pope Francis urged politicians to address the socio-economic, political and ecological ills that existed even before the COVID-19 crisis, according to a report from Vatican News.
GLOBSEC’s Bratislava Forum, an association of political and business leaders from Central and Eastern Europe, meet annually to address issues facing the world. The 16th edition of the Forum takes place on June 15-17, and is titled “To Build the World Back Better.”
Conference participants will search for a common vision to address the political and economic crises created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Calling for a clear assessment of the world’s “systemic failures, mistakes made and lack of responsibility towards the Creator, the neighbor and the creation,” Pope Francis challenged the Forum’s attendees to “correct what was not working even before the advent of the Coronavirus and that contributed to aggravate the crisis.”
Diagnosing society’s ills, Pope Francis continued, according to Vatican News:
“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.”
“I see a lifestyle that does not take enough care of the environment. We have become accustomed to consuming and destroying without restraint what belongs to everyone and should be cared for with respect, creating an “ecological debt” to be borne first and foremost by the poor and future generations.”
In urging the audience to take advantage of this time of recovery, Pope Francis said it can be a time ““to transform the time of trial into a time of choice.”
He said: “the crisis opens the way to a future that recognizes the true equality of every human being: not an abstract equality, but a concrete one that offers people and peoples real and fair opportunities for development.
Pope Francis concluded his message with an exhortation to political leaders to take action.
“Those who do not act waste the opportunities offered by the crisis,” he said, and called on leaders to “convert death into life weapons into food.”
Watch the complete address here: