Pope Francis is warning world leaders that a lack of proper communication is a threat to peace. The compromise of proper dialogue could, in fact, lead to war, according to the pope.
“Wars start inside our hearts, when I am not able to open myself to others, to respect others, to dialogue with others, that is how war begins,” the pope said Friday during a 45-minute speech at "Roma Tre" university in Rome.
The pope fielded questions from four students at the university, which he used as an opportunity to discuss the pitfalls of poor communication among political candidates and politicians. While the pope did not cite any specific politicians or countries, he did mention that insulting comments and frequent interruptions among political leaders and politicians -- especially during debates -- was a serious issue.
During the meeting at the public university, Pope Francis also addressed immigration and social media's affect on relationships and health, Reuters reported.
Pope Francis reminded attendees that his home of Argentina was a country comprised of immigrants. “Migrations are not a danger. They are a challenge for growth,” he said. “They bring to us a culture, a culture that is rich for us. And also they have to receive our culture and there has to be an exchange of cultures.”
The pope also said he wants youngsters to hop off their phones and actually engage with their families at the dinner table. “When we’re at the table, when we are speaking to others on our telephones, it’s the start of war because there is no dialogue,” the pope said during the improvised speech at the university. “We need to lower the volume a bit, and we need to talk less and listen more.”
Prior to his speech at the Roma Tre, Pope Francis met with indigenous representatives at a U.N. agricultural meeting, NBC News reported Wednesday. There, he said indigenous groups must be allowed to give consent to any economic development of their own lands.