Pope says democracy ‘not in good health’ as he warns against populists

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Pope Francis Warns Against Populism and Polarization in Democracy

Pope Francis delivered a poignant critique of modern democracy during a brief visit to Trieste, Italy, emphasizing concerns over exclusion and the rise of populism.

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Headline: Pope Francis Criticizes Populism and Polarization During Trieste Visit

Addressing an annual convention on social affairs, Pope Francis lamented the state of democracy worldwide, highlighting issues of exclusion and inequality.

Key Points from Pope Francis’ Speech:

  • Critique of Democracy: Francis expressed deep concern over the health of democracy, decrying polarization and the allure of ideologies that divide societies.
  • Reference to Populism: He warned against the seductive nature of populist ideologies, likening them to the Pied Piper of Hamelin, which lead people astray.
  • Global Crisis: While not singling out specific countries, the pope acknowledged a widespread “crisis of democracy” affecting nations globally.
  • Rise of Populism: Ahead of recent elections, Catholic bishops across Europe cautioned against the ascent of populism and nationalism, citing examples like Italy, Hungary, and the Netherlands.

Call to Action:

  • Promotion of Common Good: Francis urged a departure from polarizing rhetoric that impoverishes societies, advocating instead for a commitment to the common good.
  • Importance of Voting: Concerned about low voter turnout, the pope stressed the importance of civic engagement and democratic participation as vital to combating indifference.

Conclusion of Visit:

  • Mass and Departure: Concluding his visit with a mass attended by thousands, Pope Francis underscored the need for ethical leadership and democratic values in today’s world.
  • Future Engagements: Despite his age, the pope remains active, with upcoming extensive travels planned across Asia-Pacific nations.

Pope Francis continues to advocate for inclusive governance and societal unity amidst global challenges to democratic norms.

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