June 217: Private audience with Pope Francis (archive photo) Photo: Bundesregierung/Bergmann

Pope Francis addressed G20 leaders with a 1200-word letter he sent to the current president of G20, Chancellor Angela Merkel. In his letter, the Pope focused on global governance, the necessity of solving differences with a peaceful way and the problems of poverty and migration.

Twelve days after his meeting with Chancellor Merkel, Pope Francis sent a letter to the German Chancellor stating his considerations concerning the G20 summit. In his letter, Pope Francis referred to the four principles of action that he proposed to his programmatic document of Pontificate. Specifically, His Holiness focused on migration issues, poverty, global governance and the necessity of solving differences with a peaceful way.

Referring to the principle of time is greater than space, Pope Francis mentioned the interconnection of global issues and specifically the problem of migration and poverty. In this respect, the Pope called for an “effective solution” and “the need to give absolute priority to the poor, refugees, the suffering, evacuees and the excluded without distinction of nation, race, religion or culture and reject armed conflicts”. Adding to this, the pope referred to the tragic situations in South Sudan, Lake Chad basin, the Horn of Africa and Yemen.

In his second principle Unity prevails over conflict, the Pope called to end useless slaughters, and reminded that the purpose of G20 is “to resolve economic differences peacefully and to agree on common financial and trade rules to allow for the integral development of all”.

In his third principle, “realities are more important than ideas against new ideologies”, the Pope criticised the absolute market autonomy and financial speculation as they bring exclusion, waste and even death. Furthermore, he indirectly praised the European vision as he referred to the fathers of the EU Schuman, De Gasperi, Adenauer and Monnet.

In his final principle, the whole is greater that the part he called for solutions that must consider eventual repercussions on all countries and their citizens while respecting the views and opinions of the latter. In this respect, he praised global cooperation and international organisations and called for respecting and honouring international treaties.

Overall, the letter of the Pope can be characterised as a letter that its receivers are not only global leaders but the whole world. It concentrates on global matters, the equality of the people no matter religion or race and calls for cooperation instead of conflict.

From a political perspective, I would argue that the letter supports Merkel’s theses and sets the European Union as an example of cooperation. Finally, the mentioning of an “environmentally respectful” world and his wish to “honour international treaties” could be translated as indirect support to Paris climate agreement.

Read also: The G20 Summit And The New Balance Of Power

Vasilis Spyrakos Patronas is a political scientist and expert in European economy and politics. He is a Political Analyst at Greek think tank Synpraxis and is currently pursuing an MSc in Political Economy...

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