News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Pope Lesbosbanner.JPG
Pope Lesbos.JPG
World News

Pope calls for return to 'good politics'

by Reuters Journalist

Pope Francis appealed on Saturday for a return to "good politics", saying democracy has deteriorated dangerously as discontented people are lured by the "siren songs" of populist politicians who promise easy but unrealistic solutions.

The pope arrived from Cyprus in Athens, often seen as the  birthplace of democracy, on the second and last leg of a Mediterranean trip whose main aim is to draw attention to the plight of migrants and refugees. 

In a speech at the presidential palace, Francis quoted ancient Greek philosophers and writers such as Aristotle and Homer. He urged a return to politics that favour the common good and are not steeped in instilling fear.

"We cannot avoid noting with concern how today, and not only in Europe, we are witnessing a retreat from democracy," Francis said.

He called democracy a complex but essential endeavour requiring wide participation, "whereas authoritarianism is peremptory and populism’s easy answers appear attractive".

Francis did not name any country in his speech but in the past he has criticised the policies of a number of politicians, including former U.S. President Donald Trump and Italian far-right leader Matteo Salvini, particularly on the issue of immigration.

Francis said people should beware of politicians with "an obsessive quest for popularity, in a thirst for visibility, in a flurry of unrealistic promises..."

The pope added that he hoped that strengthened democracy everywhere "may be the response to the siren songs of authoritarianism; and that individualism and indifference may be overcome by concern for others, for the poor and for creation".

Greece is one of the main entry points into the European Union for asylum-seekers fleeing war and poverty-stricken homelands in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

In his address at the presidential palace he compared the plight of today's migrants and refugees, many of whom have died at sea, as a "horrendous modern Odyssey".

Young children in traditional Greek dress, a well as a boy from Africa and a girl from the Philippines, greeted Francis as he stepped off the plane and rode into the city in a simple Fiat 500. Since the start of his papacy in 2013, the Argentine pontiff has shunned large cars or bulletproof vehicles.

Francis will travel to the island of Lesbos for the second time on Sunday to visit a migrant reception centre set up after the notorious Moria camp burned to the ground last year. 



Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email