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In the other person’s shoes

· ​In a message for the Rimini Meeting Pope calls for dialogue ·

A “true meeting” always requires a “willingness to put yourself in the other person’s shoes in order to understand, beneath the surface, what stirs his heart, what he is truly looking for”. Beginning with this statement, Pope Francis — in a message signed by Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin — calls participants in the 37th Rimini Meeting, which opened on Friday, 19 August, not to tire of encouraging dialogue with everyone. The text, addressed to Bishop Francesco Lambiasi of Rimini, advises: “We will discover that opening ourselves to others does not impair our gaze, but makes us richer because it enables us to recognize the other person’s truth, the importance of his experience and the background of what he says, even when it is hidden behind attitudes and choices that we do not share”. Referring to the theme of the meeting, “You are a good for me”, the message recalls that in facing “threats to the peace and security of peoples and of nations”, Christians are called to realize that “it is first and foremost an existential insecurity that makes us fear the other, as if he were were our opponent who takes away our living space and oversteps the boundaries that we have built”. According to Jesus’ example, however, a believer “always cultivates an open mind towards others, whoever they may be, because he does not consider any person as definitively lost”.

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