Pope Francis warns against nationalism, xenophobia

Vatican City (AFP) –


Pope Francis has warned politicians of the dangers of exploiting nationalism and fear of foreigners to undermine the trust essential to their task of binding societies together, not dividing them.

Trust based on an "authentic political life, grounded in law and in frank and fair relations between individuals... is never easy to achieve," the pope said in a message released Tuesday which will be used to mark World Peace Day on January 1.

This is because "human relations are complex, especially in our own times, marked by a climate of mistrust rooted in the fear of others or of strangers, or anxiety about one's personal security," he said.

"Sadly, it is also seen at the political level, in attitudes of rejection or forms of nationalism that call into question the fraternity of which our globalised world has such great need.

"Today more than ever, our societies need 'artisans of peace'.

"Political addresses that tend to blame every evil on migrants and to deprive the poor of hope are unacceptable," he added in the message entitled: "Good politics at the service of peace."

Pope Francis also warned against corruption and the pursuit of personal ambition at the expense of wider society, saying that when rulers look out only for themselves, the future is compromised, especially for the younger generations which become marginalised.