Children and climate change were at the heart of an address delivered by Pope Francis to the Clinton Foundation on Monday.
In his address to the Clinton Global Initiative’s “Keep Going” session, Pope Francis stressed the importance of contributing to the common good and not leaving anyone behind.
He called for a culture of encounter and dialogue, while stressing the importance of shared responsibility to address today’s global challenges.
He was speaking about the most vulnerable members of society, particularly children.
Leave no one behind
The Holy Father emphasised the need to leave no one behind, especially vulnerable children.
He questioned whether humanity could emerge from these challenges stronger together and lamented the “globalisation of indifference.”
Pope Francis went on to thank US former President Bill Clinton for acknowledging pressing issues like climate change, humanitarian crises, and the threat of war.
He invited everyone to personal conversion and to seek to grasp that we are all connected, saying no challenge can be overcome alone. “Never alone,” stressed the Pope, but rather “always together”.
No to war
With this in mind, the Pope urged everyone to reject war, advocating for diplomacy and dialogue.
“It is time to find the path of peace, the change for fraternity,” he said. “Is time for weapons to cease and for us to return to dialogue, to diplomacy.”
“No to war, no to war,” repeated the Pope. Let us work together to stop the ecological catastrophe “while there is still time”, he urged, before also calling for urgent action to prevent an ecological catastrophe and address migration emergencies.
A special hospital
The Holy Father then highlighted the work of the Bambino Gesù Paediatric Hospital near the Vatican, and praised the institution’s commitment to combining scientific research with hospitality to treat children in need.
He noted that although the hospital cannot fix the problems of all the children in the world, it seeks to bear witness that it is possible, albeit through many struggles, to bring together great scientific research geared toward caring for children and the gratuitous of welcoming people in need.
Science and hospitality, noted the Holy Father, are two things that are rarely seen together at such a high level. “The Pope’s Hospital”, he said, is characterised by the fact that it seeks to care for as many children as possible, even if not all children can be cured.
Pope Francis concluded by expressing his desire for fraternity, care, and love. And he invited everyone to follow the path of peace and the change for fraternity.
Children and climate change, added the Pope, must both be protected.