We are those who export democracy, offer teachings, who define themselves as “civilization”. We move on relying on technology, gratified by the reached achievements. And we feel “humanity” because we share them with others, even on a large scale. But it is not true, we are only the sum of individuals. Locked in our homes, without knowing even the neighbour who lives upstairs: at best, we are family, most of the time we listen to our own voice. We are no longer able to smile to people we do not know nor to feel piety towards the weakest; yet we are ready, at the same time, to get shocked by a video on animals spread on social networks. We are many, but alone. We do not say that to ourselves, however, because truth hurts.
It is disturbing for us to deal with reality: forced to look happy when we interact with others, to pursue happiness by producing endorphins at the gym, to resort to pills (in the best case scenario) to find serenity. The Pope lifted the veil of hypocrisy, showing a sick West lost in vainglory and making it face its own limits: “In the globalized world – he observed – increase “people who cloister in selfishness, melancholy, and destructive violence in the slavery of pleasure and of the money-god”.
It is not about being Christian or Muslim, Catholic or not; the synthesis Bergoglio made in a nutshell is of indisputable clarity. But most of the powerful of the Earth – as well as most of the individual citizens – are hopelessly hypocritical, ready to applaud and to nod, except they have a hard heart and mind refractory to reflection; thus embodying precisely the description of present-days society made by the Holy Father. Citing Joseph Ratzinger, he emphasized that people, after having “tasted the promises of unlimited freedom,” shall begin ” to understanding again the expression ‘the sadness of this world’ and forbidden pleasures shall lose their appeal as soon as they cease to be forbidden”.
Nowadays nothing is prohibited “provided that it does no harm to the others”, but the yardstick for this statement is still decided by the single individual. This is what relativism does: it empties consciences, splits them, and exonerates from responsibility; It is the first step towards the self-destruction of the human species. The Pope is trying with all his strength, inside and outside the Church, to get to the core of the words, avoiding to use them as a mere formal embellishment of empty speeches, but weighing their substance. To understand means to rediscover the sense of human community. The adjective “Christian” comes afterwards.