He Pope Francisco rejected this Monday in a press conference he gave upon returning from a four-day visit to Mongolia to “imperialisms that seek to impose their own ideology”while defining the Asian country as “a neighbor located between two powers” and reaffirmed his “admiration” for the Chinese people and the “very good” Russian cultural heritage.
“There are imperialisms that seek to impose their own ideology. When culture is distilled and transformed into ideology, this is the poison“, denounced the pontiff aboard the flight that this Monday took him back to Rome from Ulaanbaatar, the cital of Mongolia.
“The transmission of culture is never imperialism,” he added when asked about his statements at the end of August in which he gave as an example the cultural period of the time of the Russian emperors Peter I and Catherine II and which had generated strong criticism. of the Ukrainian Government.
“I wasn’t thinking about imperialism when I said that,” The Pope sought to clarify. Last week, the Vatican had already specified in a note that the pontiff did not seek to exalt the emperors but rather the cultural production of his time.
In this context, Francisco asserted that “it is necessary to distinguish when it is the culture of a people or when it is the ideology of a philosopher or politician of that people.”
According to the pontiff, this danger occurs “even in the Church, where sometimes ideology also gets in and separates it from the Holy Spirit.”
“An ideology is incable of being incarnated in the people, it is just an idea. When the ideology gains strength and becomes political it often becomes incable of dialogue, it becomes a dictatorship. This is what imperialisms dowhich are consolidated with an ideology,” he developed.
“We can also distinguish in the Church between doctrine, which is never ideological, and ideology, which is separated from the people,” the Pope then stated.
When ideology gains strength and becomes political, it often becomes incable of dialogue, it becomes a dictatorship.
During much of the press conference, Francisco explained that his statements about Russian culture were given in “a dialogue with young Russians, to whom in the end I gave a message that I always repeat, which is that we must take over one’s own inheritance“.
“The same thing I say everywhere; with this vision I seek to create dialogue between grandparents and grandchildren; this was the message,” he argued, referring to his constant calls for intergenerational dialogue.
“The Russian heritage is very beautiful”
A second level of his statements, for the Pope, was when “to explain the heritage” he told them to get “the idea of Great Russia, because the Russian heritage is very good, it is very beautiful.”
“Think in the field of letters, of music, until you reach, for example, a (writer Fyodor) Dostoevsky of a mature humanism,” he exemplified, citing the author of “The Idiots” and other works, and recalled that he encouraged young people to “take charge of this humanism that developed in art, in literature.”
According to Francisco, “the third plan perhs was not hpy, But speaking about Great Russia in a cultural rather than geogrhical sense, what they taught us in school came to mind: Peter I, Catherine II,” he listed.
“Maybe it’s not fair (the comment), what the historians tell us,” he ologized in that sense to the journalists who accompanied him on the tour.
Admiration for China
“The heritage of great Russia, Russian culture is very deep. They had dark years, but the heritage was always there, at hand,” he said.
In another passage of the talk, the Pope renewed the praise he had given to the Chinese people in Mongolia and acknowledged his “admiration” towards them, although he made it clear that would like to “advance further” at the level of religious dialoguewithin the framework of the agreement signed in 2018 for the joint pointment of bishops but by which only six prelates were nominated in five years.
The Pope stressed that there is an “open” dialogue between the Holy See and Chinaalthough he expressed his desire to “advance further in the religious aspect to understand each other more.”
Thus, Francis showed his intention that “Chinese citizens do not think that the Church does not accept its own culture and values or that it depends on another foreign power,” seeking to bring tranquility to the nearly 10 million Catholics of the eastern country, in the that for more than half a century the Communist Party had created a Church parallel to that of Rome, the Patriotic Association, to seek to limit the possible interference of other countries on their citizens through faith.
“Relations with China They are very respectful. Personally, I have great admiration for the Chinese people. The dialogue is open,” he said after a trip in which he not only asked Chinese Catholics to be “good citizens” but also wished “unity and peace” to the president of that country Xi Jinping in two telegrams he sent while flying over the territory of the Asian giant to and from Rome.
“For the pointment of bishops there is a commission in which the Chinese Government works with the Vatican,” Francis recalled about the implementation of the agreement signed in 2018 and renewed in 2020 and 2022, but whose text remains secret.
“In this friendly path, the commission chaired by (Secretary of State Pietro) Parolin is doing well, and the Chinese Government is also doing a good job,” he developed.
In this context, he also recalled that his envoy for peace in Ukraine, Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, will go to China as part of the series of meetings he already had in Kiev, Moscow and Washington, although there is still no set date.
After becoming the first Pope in history to visit Mongolia, he highlighted that the Asian country has the conditions to establish itself as a bridge between Europe and the East since it has “the mystique of the third neighbor that favors this dialogue, which makes them move forward.” “.
“We can say that Their land is between two great powers, Russia and China, and, for this reason, their mystique is to seek dialogue, not out of contempt for these two countries, with which they have good relations, but out of the desire for universality,” he highlighted about Mongolia.
Francis, 86, returned to Rome this Monday after a four-day visit to Mongolia during which he had political, social and cultural activities marked by his request for a global dialogue for peace, the request for an “urgent commitment” to global the climate and the deepening of interreligious dialogue, to the point that he called on leaders from all over Central Asia to unite against fundamentalism and violence.
With information from Hernan Reyes Alcaide, special envoy. Telam