Jesuit head warns pandemic a threat to democracy

Fr Arturo Sosa SJ (CNS/Paul Haring)

Democracy and efforts to build a more just world are under attack in many countries, according to Fr Arturo Sosa SJ, superior general of the Jesuits. Source: The Tablet.

He said human lives and jobs are not the only things threatened by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Democracy can be one of the victims of the pandemic if we do not take care with our political condition,” Fr Sosa told Vatican News. “At this time, for example, many governments, including so-called democratic governments, are taking the path of authoritarianism.”

Pope Francis, also a Jesuit, joined Fr Sosa and his confreres for a feast-day lunch at the order’s headquarters near the Vatican.

Fr Sosa said many governments are using the pandemic as an excuse to restrict or end their assistance to migrants and refugees, which is a great mistake “if we want to make the world more fraternal and just”.

“To discriminate against migrants would be and is a great danger and would be a sign of a world that we do not want.”

The Jesuit superior said he also is concerned about how some businesses are using the pandemic as an excuse to fire workers or reduce salaries and benefits, including for health care.

“In other words, the pandemic is an occasion to take steps forward or to take steps backward,” he said. “And we must be very aware of this as the Catholic Church and as people committed to justice and peace so that we can build a more welcoming, more democratic society.”


Jesuit superior warns of pandemic threat to democracy (By Cindy Wooden, The Tablet

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