Pope Francis expressed today in the southern Italian city of Bari that the Mediterranean Sea remains a strategic area whose balance is reflected in other parts of the world.
In a speech before the bishops participating in the international meeting ‘Mediterranean, border of peace’, the pontiff pointed out that globalization accentuated the role of this place as a crossroads of interests and significant events from the social, political, religious and economic points of view.
In this epicenter of deep lines of rupture of economic, religious, confessional and political conflicts, we are called to offer our testimony of unity and peace, Francisco said, while recalling the Mediterranean is besieged today by many sources of instability and war.
In both the Middle East and several states in North Africa, between different ethnic, religious and faith groups, he said, adding that ‘we cannot forget the still unresolved conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, with the danger of unfair solutions and therefore, causes of new crises ‘.
The pope described the war as irrational, which ‘allocates resources to the acquisition of weapons and military effort, diverting them from the vital functions of a society such as supporting families, health and education.’
In other words, he said, it is crazy to destroy houses, bridges, factories, hospitals, kill people and destroy resources instead of building human and economic relationships.
‘It is madness that we cannot resign: war can never be confused with normalcy or accepted as an inevitable way to regulate divergences and opposing interests,’ he said.
Francisco highlighted the value of integration, particularly in an area of both miscegenation and the Mediterranean and said that ‘only dialogue allows us to meet, overcome prejudices and stereotypes, tell and know each other better.’
Organized by the Italian Episcopal Conference, the conference ‘Mediterranean, border of peace’ concluded today in the city of Bari after five days of sessions, with the participation of 58 bishops from 19 countries.