Encounter through dialogue
· Pope Francis in the daily Asia Times ·
Pope Francis expressed his “admiration” for the Chinese people in an interview granted to the journalist Francesco Sisci on the news site Asia Times. “For me, China has always been a reference point of greatness. A great country. But more than a country, a great culture, with an inexhaustible wisdom” he said.
Recalling the experience of the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci, the Holy Father affirmed that today “it is necessary to enter into dialogue with China”. And the Catholic Church – he added – has the duty to respect all civilizations “with a capital 'R'” especially the Chinese civilization, which has “an accumulation of wisdom and history”.
Pope Francis said that the Western and Eastern world have “the capacity to maintain the balance of peace and the strength to do so”, as long as fear is set aside and they can accept the “challenge” to dialogue.
In the interview the Holy Father also spoke about the sad birth rate in many countries and invited the Chinese people to reconcile with their own history and have mercy on themselves. In conclusion, the Pope conveyed his “best wishes and greetings to President Xi Jinping and to all the Chinese people” on the occasion of the Chinese New Year, which will begin on 8 February.
St. Peter’s Square
Jan. 19, 2018
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