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Room adjacent to the Paul VI Hall
Wednesday, 10 January 2024



Dear friends, good morning!

I am pleased to welcome you, the representatives of DIALOP, who for many years have been committed to promoting the common good through dialogue between Socialists/Marxists and Christians. A fine programme!

A Latin American writer once wrote that people have two eyes, one of flesh and one of glass. With the first, they see what they look at; with the other, what they dream of. Never lose the ability to dream! Today, in a world divided by war and polarization, we run the risk of losing the ability to dream. We Argentines say, “no te arrugues”, meaning “don’t back off”. This is my invitation to you as well: Don’t back off, don’t give up, and don’t stop dreaming of a better world. For it is in imagination, the ability to dream, that intelligence, intuition, experience and historical memory come together to make us be creative, take chances and run risks. How many times over the years have great dreams of freedom and equality, dignity and fraternity, reflecting God’s own dream, produced breakthroughs and progress. With this in mind, I would like to commend to you three attitudes that I consider helpful for your efforts: the courage to break the mould, concern for the less fortunate and support for the rule of law.

First, to have the courage to break the mould, to be open, in dialogue, to new ways. At a time marked by conflicts and divisions at various levels, let us not lose sight of what can still be done to turn the tide. Instead of rigid approaches that divide, let us cultivate, with open hearts, discussion and listening. And not exclude anyone at the political, social or religious level, so that the contribution of each can, in its concrete distinctiveness, receive a positive reception in the processes of change to which our future is linked.

Second, concern for the less fortunate. The measure of a civilization can be seen by how the most vulnerable are treated – let us not forget how the great dictatorships, we think of Nazism, discarded and killed those who were most vulnerable -: the poor, the unemployed, the homeless, immigrants, the exploited, and all those whom the culture of waste turns into refuse. This is one of the most terrible things. A politics that is truly at the service of humanity cannot let itself be dictated to by finance and market mechanisms. Solidarity is not only a moral virtue, but also a requirement of justice, which calls for correcting the distortions and purifying the intentions of unjust systems, not least through radical changes of perspective in the sharing of challenges and resources among individuals and among peoples. That is why I like to call those engaged in this field “social poets,” for poetry is about creativity, and here it is a question of putting creativity at the service of society, in order to make it ever more humane and fraternal. Do not be afraid of poetry, poetry and creativity. Let us not forget this ability to dream.

Finally, the rule of law. Everything said thus far calls for commitment to combating the scourge of corruption, abuses of power and lack of respect for law. It is only in honesty and integrity that healthy relationships can be established and that we can cooperate confidently and effectively in building a better future.

Dear friends, I thank you for your commitment to dialogue. There is always a great need for dialogue, so do not be afraid! I pray for you and I ask that you be granted wisdom and courage in your work for a more just and peaceful world. May the Gospel of Jesus Christ always inspire and enlighten your efforts and activity. Thank you.

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