More Walls between People

GianPaolo Salvini, SJ

Paid Article

In speeches intended to foster a climate of world peace, Pope Francis has often used metaphors referring to walls and bridges in opposition to each other. Walls are an eloquent symbol of division and incommunicability, while bridges are an equally clear symbol of encounter between different shores – between different nations, religions and people.

The quotations are numerous. Best known, perhaps, is the quote from the speech given by Pope Francis (whose Latin title, Pontifex, indicates a “creator” or “builder of bridges”) at the Vatican Gardens on June 8, 2014, when meeting Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas: “Your presence, dear Presidents, is a great sign of brotherhood […]. The world is a legacy bequeathed to us by past generations, but it is also on loan to us from our children; our children who are weary, worn out by conflicts and yearning for the dawn of peace, our children who plead with us to tear down the walls of enmity and set out on the path of dialogue and peace, so that love and friendship may prevail.”[1]

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