Selection of quotes from Pope Francis on equality, fraternity

Pope Francis addresses a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington Sept. 24, 2015. (CNS photo/Joshua Roberts)

By Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Here are some quotes on equality, brotherhood and racism from Pope Francis listed according to date:

“How I desire that we Christians be more deeply united as witnesses of mercy for the human family so severely tested in these days. Let’s ask the Spirit for the gift of unity, for only if we live as brothers & sisters can we spread the spirit of fraternity.” May 31, 2020. (Tweet from @Pontifex)

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“Now, while we are looking forward to a slow and arduous recovery from the pandemic, there is a danger that we will forget those who are left behind. The risk is that we may then be struck by an even worse virus, that of selfish indifference — a virus spread by the thought that life is better if it is better for me, and that everything will be fine if it is fine for me. It begins there and ends up selecting one person over another, discarding the poor and sacrificing those left behind on the altar of progress. … May we be profoundly shaken by what is happening all around us: the time has come to eliminate inequalities, to heal the injustice that is undermining the health of the entire human family!” April 19, 2020. (Homily, feast of Divine Mercy)

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“The problem is not that we have doubts and fears. The problem is when they condition our way of thinking and acting to the point of making us intolerant, closed and perhaps even — without realizing it — racist. In this way, fear deprives us of the desire and the ability to encounter the other, the person different from myself; it deprives me of an opportunity to encounter the Lord.” (2019 message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees).

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“We live in times in which feelings that to many had seemed to be outdated appear to be reemerging and spreading. Feelings of suspicion, fear, contempt and even hatred toward other individuals or groups judged to be different on the basis of their ethnicity, nationality or religion, and as such, believed not to be sufficiently worthy to participate fully in the life of society. These feelings, then, too often inspire real acts of intolerance, discrimination or exclusion that seriously harm the dignity of those involved as well as their fundamental rights, including the very right to life and to physical and moral integrity. Unfortunately, in the political world too, it happens that one gives in to the temptation to exploit the fears and the objective difficulties of some groups and to make misleading promises out of shortsighted electoral interests.” Sept. 20, 2018. (Speech, World Conference on Xenophobia, Racism and Populist Nationalism)

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“We must overcome all forms of racism, of intolerance and of the instrumentalization of the human person.” July 18, 2017. (Tweet from @Pontifex)

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“We are called to live not as one without others, above or against others, but with and for others.” May 22, 2017. (Tweet from @Pontifex)

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“It is of little or no use to raise our voices and run about to find weapons for our protection. What is needed today are peacemakers, not makers of arms; what is needed are peacemakers, and not fomenters of conflict; firefighters and not arsonists; preachers of reconciliation and not instigators of destruction.” April 28, 2017. (Speech to an Interfaith Peace Conference, Cairo)

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“May this tireless worker of mercy help us increasingly to understand that our only criterion for action is gratuitous love, free from every ideology and all obligations, offered freely to everyone without distinction of language, culture, race or religion.” Sept. 4, 2016. (Homily, canonization of St. Teresa of Kolkata)

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“Life nowadays tells us that it is much easier to concentrate on what divides us, what keeps us apart. People try to make us believe that being closed in on ourselves is the best way to keep safe from harm. Today, we adults need you to teach us, as you are doing today, how to live in diversity, in dialogue, to experience multiculturalism, not as a threat but an opportunity. You are an opportunity for the future.” July 30, 2016. (World Youth Day, Krakow, Vigil)

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“The time has come to put an end to age-old prejudices, preconceptions and mutual mistrust that are often at the base of discrimination, racism and xenophobia.” Oct. 26, 2015. (Speech to a pilgrimage of Roma and Sinti people)

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“Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. … The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us. The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.” Sept. 24, 2015. (Speech to Joint Meeting of Congress, Washington)

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“A nation can be considered great when it defends liberty as Lincoln did, when it fosters a culture which enables people to ‘dream’ of full rights for all their brothers and sisters, as Martin Luther King sought to do; when it strives for justice and the cause of the oppressed, as Dorothy Day did by her tireless work, the fruit of a faith which becomes dialogue and sows peace in the contemplative style of Thomas Merton.” Sept. 24, 2015. (Speech to Joint Meeting of Congress, Washington)

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“Mr. President, together with their fellow citizens, American Catholics are committed to building a society which is truly tolerant and inclusive, to safeguarding the rights of individuals and communities, and to rejecting every form of unjust discrimination.” Sept. 23, 2015 (Speech at the White House, Washington)

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“Scapegoats are not only sought to pay, with their freedom and with their life, for all social ills such as was typical in primitive societies, but over and beyond this, there is at times a tendency to deliberately fabricate enemies: stereotyped figures who represent all the characteristics that society perceives or interprets as threatening. The mechanisms that form these images are the same that allowed the spread of racist ideas in their time.” Oct. 23, 2014. (Speech to the International Association of Penal Law)

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“The problem of intolerance must be confronted in all its forms: Wherever any minority is persecuted and marginalized because of its religious convictions or ethnic identity, the well-being of society as a whole is endangered, and each one of us must feel affected.” Oct. 24, 2013. (Audience with a delegation from the Simon Wiesenthal Center)

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