Here is a translation of the Message the Holy Father Francis sent to the participants in the 4th International Conference, entitled “For Global Equilibrium,” organized by the Jose Marti Project for International Solidarity, underway at the Palace of Conventions in Havana, Cuba, from January 28-31, 2019.
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The Holy Father’s Message
I greet cordially the participants in this International Conference “For Global Equilibrium,” being held at Havana, Cuba, in the framework of the commemoration of such a significant date for that beloved country, as the birthday of Jose Marti, and whose purpose is to unite wills that, through a fruitful dialogue, will contribute to strengthen bonds of brotherhood between nations.
It’s easy to see how the different events that have happened on the planet have contributed significantly to endangering the balance of the present civilization. For this reason good men should unite and meet in events of this nature, in a framework of plurality, to achieve genuine human promotion, knowing, in addition, that “those who are committed in the defense of persons’ dignity, can find in the Christian faith the most profound arguments for that commitment” (Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’, 65).
The human environment and the natural environment go hand in hand and can be degraded together. Environmental degradation will not be able to be addressed adequately if we do not understand the causes that have to do with human and social degradation (Cf. Ibid.., 48). For this reason, I already expressed in my pastoral visit to Cuba, a “culture of encounter” should be fostered above all in young people, through the promotion of “social friendship” (Cf. “Greeting to Young People,” Havana, September 20, 2015), which unites us in a common objective to promote persons.
I encourage you to seek effective alternatives around the thought of Jose Marti, “a man of light,” as Saint John Paul II described him during his visit to Cuba (Meeting with the World of Culture, Havana, January 23, 1998). May the teachings of that Cuban teacher and writer resound within us and remind us, with his words, that “all the trees of the earth, in the end, will be concentrated in one, which in eternity will a very delicate aroma: the tree of love, of such robust and copious branches, that under them all men will shelter, smiling and in peace (Complete Works, Vol. 5, 193).
I hope that these days of work and reflection will bear fruits of understanding and dialogue, in securing an ever more fraternal civilization.
Vatican, January 17, 2019
© Libreria Editrice Vatican[Original text: Spanish] [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]