A TOXIC WORLD Interview to mons. Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Sciences Academy

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The Pontifical Academy of Sciences is preparing to live two particularly significant moments. The first is a seminar on the drug problem, held on 23 and 24 November, which will be attended by” In Terris ” director, Don Aldo Buonaiuto, as a speaker. The second is the international summit of mayors on Refugees, to be held on 9 and 10 December. Two  different themes but somehow related to the integral human ecology that is so dear to Pope Francis. We discuss it with the chancellor of the Academy, mons. Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo.

Narcotics: problems and solutions to a global issue is the workshop title. How it was born? “In response to an explicit desire of Pope Francis. We want to consider different aspects, especially on the scientific level. It will make an overview of current situation, from the cultural and geopolitical point of view, the production, the different types of consumers, the effects on the brain and body of the abuses, both light and heavy drugs, the aspects linked to the strategies to be followed to fight this phenomenon, the exploitation of children in smuggling, the possible consequences of legalization. Special attention will be given to the prevention. it is undeniable that drugs represent one of the greatest plagues of our world “.

The other big event will be the Summit of Mayors on the theme: “Europe: the refugees are our brothers.” In the presentation we talk about new ways to build peace. For example?                                                                                                          “Of course the new roads are completely different from today. First of all, mayors should recommend the end of the wars, because one of the fundamental causes of the refugee phenomenon is war. The problem of Syria evidently comes from the war and this is an objective fact. We must open the doors to immigration, especially when it is an immigration of people who suffer extreme situations so they are not here to make terrorism. The second key aspect is take care of climate issue, the second cause of migration, caused by the tragedy of global warming due to human activities using fossil material. ”

Not everyone has the same opinion…                                                                              “I know some president says it is an invention of the Chinese but here they  have nothing to do … This is a conclusion of the scientific community, as the Pope said in “Lausato si'”. Where the Chinese haven’t worked , i think…To Affirm that this is something that communist people say it is absolutely unacceptable. These are objective data that come from science. So if we believe in science for certain things, then we must also believe in this. Actually animals migration is an objective fact, and after the animals are people. Because climate change produces desert where there is already desert, rain where there is already rain, produces these imbalances. ”

The Church holds that economic migrants, in any case, must be accepted.
“Yes, but is necessary to remove the cause, even the most remote. Let’s stop with this financial crisis, it is not possible that we still live with this crisis, with people who are unemployed, young people have no work. There is a drug increase for all this. ”

This reconnects us to the drugs workshop themes.                                                        “Sure. it is clear that if young people can’t find a social link that gives him the opportunity of entering into the work world, with a shared work that creates fraternity, because the work fundamentally  creates community, fraternity, then it becomes one of the causes for which conditions are created so that young people don’t have hope. The same is true for the school. You know that, if we make a general consideration, 50% of young people of this world, both male and female, have no education or do not attend school? Often because there are no schools. I was just in Africa and the situation of Africa’s richest countries, not poor ones, is this. The world is not like the situation in Italy. And there is another aspect,  sports: you have to go back to a sport a bit ‘amateurs, doing it just for the value of sport itself, as it once was, not just a business. We need  sport that creates community, society, hope. ”

During Mayors summit we will discuss about old Europe: How is it possible to recover the way of solidarity that seems lost in our continent?? “I would say that the Brexit problem is the opposite:  the people is who understand that all the promises that they made for solidarity are not working. And then they try another way. If we intend solidarity as a superficial thing obviously we can’t understand what it means. But if we mean how to “do society”, because man is naturally a social being, then we have to find new ways to solve the problem. ”

Drugs and immigration are two aspects touched on” Laudato sì “. What is the balance of the encyclical after 18 months from the publication?
“It is very strong, the Pope reminds us  the biblical imperative of our responsibility regarding the earth. We can’t use resources as if they were a plastic thing doing everything we want because resources have their own laws, are, for the most part, living beings, plants or animals, we must have respect because they are our friends They accompany us from the beginning of existence. This is something that comes from the science, we have mistreated the earth and it is like a boomerang. If I mistreat my habitat, it turns against me, even unintentionally, because it produces a bad climate change. If we intensify activities that use fossil material and we put this oil with its black color in the stratosphere, obviously all this is against us. The encyclical recall is essential. It has produced the results of the Cop 21 in Paris, with important commitments for sustainable development. We hope that these decisions, which have to be applied differently in each country, do not remain just an intentions to contain this temperature increase. Everything tells us that it could be done but we must not deny the problem otherwise the only result will be to increase it. “

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