The weight of words

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There is a reason why people like Pope Francis so much: he speaks their language. Not their mother tongue, of course, but the language of simplicity and frankness. Giving voice to things each one of us thinks, hopes for, and wishes, but never hears from the mouth of the powerful of the Earth who are busy paying more attention to political balances than to the substance of things.

The last example was provided by the agreement on climate, a topic which is by the way closely connected to the Encyclical ”Praised be”. The communion of intents between the different powers of the planet that was reached in Paris, has been greeted by all the international media as a “historic” event. It will be really so only if those principles will be endorsed by the national governments and transformed into concrete and joint initiatives. “Everyone’s dedication is needed”, the Holy Father has pointed out. How can we not admit he is right?

Climate is just the latest example of good intentions which, to be truly effective, need to be put into practice. A concept that is even trivial, yet so dramatically away from the reality of the diplomatic corps. The wave of anger after the pictures of the little Aylan, the Syrian child who had been shipwrecked and found dead on a Turkish beach, went viral and brought several declarations of intents to overcome nationalist divisions and cooperate for an actual solution to the migrants question. Yet, just a few days after the tragedy and all the loud claims, the quota of immigrants to be allocated to the single countries came back into discussion and new walls were build. Now things are moving in a more orderly and shared manner, but we are still far from a single intent.

Another recent example is that of the Geneva agreements on Ukraine. In that case, everyone had committed to avoiding all violence, intimidation or expression of extremism. Now, when the end of 2015 is around the corner, things have not changed at all. Not to mention the speed indications of processes regarding protection of human dignity, another chapter full of good intentions which have never been applied.

We are not talking about marginal sectors: environment, justice, and conflicts are only some of the examples of how – to put it in the popular tradition – they do not practice what they preach.

Francis has called on everyone to remember that words have weight only if they transmogrify into concrete actions. Common people have always been aware of the fact that great politicians still have issues assimilating this concept.

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