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Reflecting the Mind of the
Vatican since 1850
The Meaning of Francis’ International Politics
In order to trace the pope’s political map of the world and grasp the roots of his international politics, we must avoid simplification and find the right keys to interpretation. It is useful to start from his biographical and cultural roots, but it is also necessary to go beyond this. In any case, we must always bear in mind that the pope’s agenda is open and that this openness is a specific characteristic of his politics.

We may distinguish four aspects of the pontiff’s politics: their kerygmatic nature, their orientation towards wholeness and unity, their origin in discernment, and the direct connection he draws between politics and charity.

Francis’ politics are kerygmatic. The term kerygma indicates the announcement of the message of Christ, the Gospel. For Francis, the announcement of the Gospel becomes political; political commitment emanates from the Gospel, and not from an ideology.

We know that for the Greeks – who invented the term – politics is the art of building the polis, the city in its entirety. It creates order in internal relations through internal policy, and at the same time security in external relations through foreign policy.
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