Now the Congress does not applaud anymore. After the emphasis of the moment and the dutiful formal respect to the man of “reconciliation”, the indifferent engine was put in motion again. Words, expectations, promises, and good intentions which serve only to ride the wave of enthusiasm, remained nothing more than intentions.”Isaiah’s prophecy was right -. says Jesus Christ in the Gospel of Mark – These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me”. In two thousand years the face of power has not changed: big false smiles, behind which is hidden the ceaseless work, that perpetuates the system. Even when it kills, ravages, and generates poverty.
This time, the one to pay was Kelly Gissedaner, a 47-year-old woman who was executed in Georgia (US) a few hours after Pope Francis’ appeal against death penalty. “Stop her execution” was Vatican’s message sent through the apostolic nuncio in the United States, the bishop Carlo Maria Viganò, to the local authorities only a few hours before the lethal injection. Waste Paper. Words lost in the first autumn wind. Kelly Gissedaner, the first female convict to be executed in Georgia since 1945, was condemned for having had her husband killed by her lover. A heinous crime whose severity, according to Viganò, could not be diminished. Yet, in the succinct papal letter he asked (or better, he begged) to commute the sentence so as to safeguard both justice and “mercy”. Vain efforts. The executioner won again. Indeed, when greeting Bergoglio at the White House, Barack Obama had talked about the “social” role played by Catholics in America. “Social”, not “political”, a way to reiterate that the Church has no say over sensitive and thorny issues such as arms trafficking, the fight against poverty, wars, the reinsertion of prisoners, family, etc. Those who detain power seem to be impervious to Francis’ message. The only issue on which there seems to be progress, is environment. From November 30 through December 11th, 2015, world powers will gather in Paris for the most important conference on climate change of the century whose title will probably be “save humanity, before it is too late”.
The beauty of the Created is swept away by human madness which keeps contaminating and destroying, as it makes experiments with more and more powerful tools of extermination. “There are businessmen who claim to be Christian and invest in weapons. Talking about peace while producing weapons is hypocrisy” affirmed the Pope during the meeting with young people held in Turin last June. “We have to ask ourselves why deadly weapons are sold to those who plan to inflict unspeakable suffering to individuals and society?” – he reiterated at the United States Congress. Yet business is flourishing. The last report issued by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) mentions deals worth milliards of euros. United States, Russia, France, Germany and the United Kingdom are at the top of the league of exported arms which arrive in every corner of the globe: Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Morocco, Poland, Nigeria, Libya, to mention only a few buyers. Countries in peace or ravaged by wars and conflicts between ethnic groups, in which democracy is a mirage and law depends on the number of available bullets. “War no more!” – exclaimed Bergoglio during a recent general audience. Because carnage generates despair and evasion from those countries. Thus, EU is forced to face the phenomenon of mass immigration. And it does so the worst possible way: closing its borders. “Walls against migrants will collapse” -. prophesied the Pope during his return flight from Philadelphia Nonetheless, new barriers continue to be built on Hungary’s borders, while others are kept, such as those between the United States and Mexico or Israel and the rest of Palestine.
But it is not only on the front of international politics that the desperate appeals of the Pope are not listened to nor put into practice. Italy has repeatedly betrayed the Pontiff as well. It is enough to think about the problem of the prisons, raised on several occasions by Francis, but which has not been tackled yet. Or about issues connected to family. A few months after the words on the dangers of gender theory (Bergoglio defined it as “an expression of frustration which erases differences”) followed the approval of a school reform that contains (right) anti-homophobia measures and actions against sexual discrimination which are not clear enough. Finally the urbi et orbi announcement made by the mayor of Rome, Ignazio Marino, about the creation of a register of civil unions a few days after the end of the much wanted by the Pontiff Synod on Family.
In any case, Bergoglio is in good company. Not always papal moral suasion was fruitful. I recall the words of Pope Benedict XV on the “useless massacre” represented by the “Great War”. Or those uttered by Pius XII a few days before the bombing on German Poland, that opened the Second World War ( “nothing is lost in peace, everything can be lost in war”). Then, there was Ratzinger’s warning in Regensburg about the dangers of fundamentalism (which was wrongly interpreted as an insult to Islam as a whole). Words, invocations, and pardon asked by men who know the world. But whom the world rejects. Those who suffer the consequences of interests which become idols are never the dwellers of the Palace.