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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 May 24 - 30  > Struggle for the poor strengthened his belief
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2017 May 24 - 30 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Struggle for the poor strengthened his belief

May 29, 2017

Akahata ‘current’ column

Pope Francis looked very serious when posing for a photo with the family of Donald Trump. He met Trump, the new President of the United States, in the Vatican on May 24. Did their first meeting bridge the deep divide between the two?

The pontiff has been criticizing Trump, who kept making insulting remarks against illegal immigrants during his election campaign. The Pope said, “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.”

Trump insists on America First and the Pope preaches world peace. Both may mix like oil and water. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, born as the child of Italian immigrants in Buenos Aires, became Pope four years ago at the age of 76. It was a dramatic journey for Bergoglio to reach that position.

He began serving God at a young age. Then, the young Bergoglio was ordained as a Jesuit provincial. Around that time, however, Argentina was under military dictatorship. Many people were kidnapped, tortured, disappeared, and often killed. It was a nightmare of oppression. Even Catholic priests were tortured and killed.

His fellows and friends one after another became the prey of Argentina’s reign of terror. Bergoglio, despite being in a difficult situation, devoted himself to save their lives. The film “Call Me Francis” will soon be released here in Tokyo, which depicts his hardships. He bravely tried hard to resist violence and always committed himself to poor people. Therein, his belief, he said, grew stronger.

Recently, the Holy Father again criticized the chosen name “Mother of All Bombs (MOAB)” for the powerful bomb the U.S. dropped in Afghanistan. He said, “A mother gives life and this one gives death.”
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