The Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989. From that day on Berliners started dismantling a symbol that had held them hostage for almost 30 years; it was an emblematic moment in the sunset of totalitarianism.
It marked the beginning of what promised to be a new era characterized by intensifying globalization. Yet today, as Pope Francis often tells us, this new era has been marked by indifference and conflict.
Before the backdrop of a dismantled wall, many more barriers have arisen in the world. The pontiff, meeting with a group of Jesuits, spoke frankly: “there are walls that even separate children from parents. Herod comes to mind. Yet for drugs, there’s no wall to keep them out.”
When Francis spoke of the Church as a “field hospital,” he did not intend to use an engaging, rhetorically effective image. What was before his eyes was a “piecemeal world war.” The global crisis takes various forms and is expressed in conflicts, trade disputes, barriers, migration crises, failing regimes, hostile new alliances, and trade routes that open the way to wealth, but that also threaten tensions. You could draw a map, but it would always be incomplete.