Pope Praises Kazakhstan As An Example of Brotherhood Among Peoples

Pope Praises Kazakhstan’s Support of Nuclear Weapons Ban, Peace

During the papal audience, Pope Francis talked about his last trip to Kazakhstan and the example of the Asian country in promoting democracy and fraternity.

Newsroom (22/09/2022 17:05, Gaudium Press) Pope Francis used the General Audience of this Wednesday, September 21, to discuss his trip to Kazakhstan.

The Holy Father was in Kazakhstan from September 13 to 15 to participate in the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions.

A country that promotes fraternity among peoples

During the Audience in St. Peter’s Square, Francis made a point of recalling that this congress has been held for more than twenty years on the initiative of the rulers of the country.

This initiative has been held for twenty years by the authorities of the country, which presents itself to the world as a place of encounter and dialogue, in this case on the religious level, and therefore as a protagonist in the promotion of peace and human fraternity,” the Pope said.

Francis spoke about the Final Declaration of the Congress, a declaration that highlights the importance of human fraternity. In mentioning the Declaration, the Pope evoked the ecumenical meeting in Assisi in 1986, proposed by John Paul II.

“I think of the historic Interreligious Meeting for Peace, called by St. John Paul II in Assisi in 1986; much criticized by people who had no vision for the future; I think of the far-sighted gaze of St. John XXIII and St. Paul VI; and also of the great souls of other religions – I mention only Mahatma Gandhi,” Pope Francis added.

Ethnic differences and democracy

He then described his meeting with the country’s authorities: the president, the governors, and the diplomatic corps. During this meeting, the Pope discussed Kazakhstan’s vocation as a country of “encounter.”

In fact, the Pope explained that the country has about 150 ethnic groups and eighty languages spoken in different regions of the country.

Francis praised the country’s democratic policies, something not always easy to achieve, but which the country knows how to carry out with maturity and effectiveness.

“No” to nuclear weapons

The Pope took the opportunity to deplore the war in Ukraine and criticize the choice and use of nuclear weapons:

“One must recognize that Kazakhstan has made very positive choices, such as saying ‘no’ to nuclear weapons and good energy and environmental policies. This was courageous,” stated Francis.

Regarding the minority of Catholics in the country, he said that they enjoy the “blessedness of smallness” and that being small in number does not mean that they are closed.

Rather, Kazakh Catholics are invited to build relationships with other Christian denominations and to trust in the Holy Spirit.

The Pope concludes by mentioning the Solemn Mass celebrated in Nur-Sultan, the country’s capital, on the day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. (FM)

Compiled by Teresa Joseph

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