Populorum Progressio 64: Overcoming Nationalism and Racism

Can we overcome nationalism and racism?

64. This state of affairs, which bodes ill for the future, causes Us great distress and anguish. But We cherish this hope: that distrust and selfishness among nations will eventually be overcome by a stronger desire for mutual collaboration and a heightened sense of solidarity.

Pope Francis also writes of hope in Fratelli Tutti. Nurturing resentments mistaken for culture and tradition is a dangerous self-hurt.

Here, Pope Paul VI wrote of developing nations, but nationalism is at least as great a danger in the so-called developed world. Three hopes:

  • We hope that the developing nations will take advantage of their geographical proximity to one another to organize on a broader territorial base and to pool their efforts for the development of a given region.
  • We hope that they will draw up joint programs, coordinate investment funds wisely, divide production quotas fairly, and exercise management over the marketing of these products.
  • We also hope that multilateral and broad international associations will undertake the necessary work of organization to find ways of helping needy nations, so that these nations may escape from the fetters now binding them; so that they themselves may discover the road to cultural and social progress, while remaining faithful to the native genius of their land.

As for the first two hopes, groups working together can gain strength, a broader perspective, and a larger pool of resources–material and most importantly in personnel–on which to draw. And the last one contains a theme we’ve seen Pope Francis often promote: embrace the traditions of one’s people, one’s culture, and move forward with roots and the strength they provide.

This encyclical letter is © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana, and can be found in its entirety at this link.

Image credit: Lady Justice at the Central Criminal Court of London.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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