The following is the Message sent by the Holy Father Francis to the participants in the Fifth Global Meeting of the Indigenous Peoples’ Forum, promoted by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), held online, on the theme “The value of indigenous food systems: resilience in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic”:
Message of the Holy Father
To the organisers and participants
at the Fifth Global Meeting of the Indigenous Peoples' Forum
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I wish to express to you once again my closeness and the Church's commitment to continue to journey together. Together, to express our conviction that globalisation cannot mean a uniformity that ignores diversity and imposes a new kind of colonialism.
Rather, the challenge is to create alternatives based on solidarity so that no one feels ignored, but without imposing overwhelmingly its own direction, considering it to be the only correct one. On the contrary, we are well aware that when diversities are articulated and mutually enriching, communion between peoples flourishes and comes to life. In reality, it is a question of promoting a development that does not take consumption as a means and an end, but one that truly cares for the environment, listens, learns and dignifies. This is integral ecology, in which social justice is combined with the protection of the planet. Only with this humility of spirit can we see the total defeat of hunger and a society based on enduring values, which are not the fruit of passing fads and biases, but of justice and goodness.
I trust that your work these days will bear abundant fruit, of love for the world we want to build together and which we wish to hand on to those who come after us as a treasure, and not as a heap of waste and debris. Let us be attentive to what benefits us all, and which will be precisely what will allow us to pass through this world leaving altruism and generosity in our wake, without being wounded by earthly immanence, desolated by spiritual emptiness, paralysed by self-centredness or saddened by individualism.
With these sentiments, I ask God to bless your communities and those in IFAD who strive to help those living in the most depressed areas of the planet, that are nevertheless graced by the beauty that comes from respecting and living with nature, a work that came from the hands of the Lord.
Thank you very much.
From the Vatican, 2 February 2021