Pope Francis’ Diplomacy of Dialogue: How Has It Fared?


National Catholic Register, 2 June 2017

The day before President Trump met with Pope Francis, Cardinal Peter Turkson juxtaposed the president’s speech in Saudi Arabia with what the Pope said in Egypt.

Taking to Twitter, he wrote: “Pope Francis & Pres Trump reach out to Islam-world to exorcise it of [religious violence]. One offers peace of dialogue, the other security of arms.”

Which seems fitting. It would be odd for a pastor to counsel recourse to arms. Similarly, it is expected that a commander in chief would seek to augment security through arms.

Cardinal Turkson’s tweet thus could be read as a mere observation that a spiritual power is doing what a spiritual power does, and a military power is doing what a military power does.

Yet the Ghanaian cardinal, Francis’ chief “minister” for matters of justice, peace and development, likely intended something more than that. He was suggesting that the “peace of dialogue” is the path to be preferred over the “security of arms.”

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