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Pope Francis: to Die Zeit, “populism is evil and ends badly”

“Populism is evil and ends badly, as we have seen in the past century”. Pope Francis said this in an interview with the German weekly “Die Zeit”, mentioning Adolf Hitler as an example of bad populism. Pope Francis admitted he is concerned about the rise of populism in Europe. He explained that behind populism there is “always a messiah, as well as a justification”, that of preserving the identity of a people. Great post-war politicians in the old continent, by contrast, “imagined European unity”, “one that was not populist”, but “a brotherhood for the entire Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals. And these are the great leaders – the truly great leaders – who can advance the good of the country without putting themselves at the centre, without being messiahs”. The Pope then spoke once again about the “piecemeal Third World War”: think of Africa, Ukraine, Asia, the tragic situation in Iraq, and “those poor people who were forced out of their countries”. It is a war that is fought with “modern weapons and there is a network of arms manufacturers that is fuelling all this”. And finally, his upcoming apostolic trips: he will go to India, Bangladesh, Colombia, Fatima, and possibly to Egypt. But he fears that his hoped-for visit to South Sudan might not be possible after all. He was planning to go to the two Congos, but with Kabila, he believes he will not be able to make it. And he cannot go to Russia either, because he will have to go to Ukraine too.

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