April 1, 2013

Moral relativism “endangers the coexistence of peoples,” Pope Francis told diplomats March 22.

A common ethics based on human nature is an indispensable condition for world peace, he told the Vatican diplomatic corps.

Recalling the love of the poor practised by his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, the pope lamented both material poverty and the “spiritual poverty of our time, which afflicts the so-called richer countries particularly seriously.

It is what my much-loved predecessor, Benedict XVI, called the ‘dictatorship of relativism,’ which makes everyone his own criterion and endangers the coexistence of peoples.

Francis of Assisi tells us we should work to build peace,” Pope Francis said.

“But there is no peace without truth!

There cannot be true peace if everyone is his own criterion, if everyone can always claim exclusively his own rights, without at the same time caring for the good of others, of everyone, on the basis of the nature that unites every human being on this earth.”

The pope acknowledged his particular responsibility for peacemaking, noting that his title of pontiff means a “builder of bridges with God and between people.”