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Drug use is not solved with drugs

· The Pope addresses the participants in the International Drug Enforcement Conference ·

“The problem of drug use is not solved with drugs! Drug addiction is an evil, and with evil there can be no yielding or compromise.” On Friday morning, 20 June, Pope Francis denounced drug use at an audience with the participants in the International Drug Enforcement Conference, which was held for the first time in Italy. 

The Pope also expressed his concern for the plague of drug-trafficking which continues to threaten young people. “ But to say this 'no',” he explained, “one has to say 'yes' to life, 'yes' to love, 'yes' to others, 'yes' to education, 'yes' to greater job opportunities”. In fact, he said, through prevention “there will be no room for illicit drugs, for alcohol abuse, for other forms of addiction”.

The Bishop of Rome also clearly expressed his belief that “to legalize so-called 'recreational drugs', are not only highly questionable from a legislative standpoint, but they fail to produce the desired effects. Substitute drugs are not an adequate therapy but rather a veiled means of surrendering to the phenomenon”.

Immediately after the audience the Pope met with participants in another conference which was centred on the theme “International Religious Freedom and the Global Clash of Values”, organized by Saint John’s University of New York and by the Libera università Maria Santissima Assunta (LUMSA) of Roma. “It is unacceptable,” he said, “that real persecution actually exists for reasons of religious affiliation! This distorts reason, attacks peace and humiliates human dignity”. For him “it is incomprehensible and alarming that still today discrimination and restrictions of rights continue for the single fact of belonging to and publicly professing an unwavering faith”. He also expressed his “great pain” that Christians “in the world submit to the greatest amount of such discrimination”.

The integral text of the Pope's address

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 22, 2018

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