By Jim Fair
Pope Francis on September 13, 2020, had suggestions for those engaged in protests of various issues around the world, as well as those who are the targets of protests.
The Holy Father’s advice came after praying the Angelus with the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square. The advice was simple, though clearly not always easy to achieve:
- Protestors should present their demands peacefully
- Those in authority should listen and respond to just demands
- Pastors should encourage dialogue
“In addition, in these weeks we are witnessing numerous popular protests all over the world – in many parts – expressing the growing unease of civil society in the face of particularly critical political and social situations,” Pope Francis said. “While I urge the demonstrators to present their demands peacefully, without giving in to the temptation of aggression and violence, I appeal to all those with public and governmental responsibilities to listen to the voice of their fellow citizens and to meet their just aspirations, ensuring full respect for human rights and civil liberties.
“Finally, I invite the ecclesial communities living in such contexts, under the guidance of their Pastors, to work for dialogue, always in favor of dialogue, and in favor of reconciliation – we have talked about forgiveness, reconciliation.”
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