The soon-to-retire Papal Nuncio in Spain, Renzo Fratini, has lambasted the Governments of the United States, Italy, Hungary and other nations that claim to defend their “identity” while excluding migrants and refugees.

The big picture

“Sometimes it seems like, instead of progressing, the world is going backwards”, lamented Fratini, papal ambassador in Spain and Andorra since 2009, in an interview with the weekly of the archidiocese of Madrid, Alfa y Omega.

“The world has become a more hostile and complicated place today, because of the increasing terrorism and hatred”, continued the experienced diplomat, who has also been Nuncio in Indonesia, East Timor and Nigeria.

Fratini added the situation in the world today hasn’t been helped either by the situation in the United States under Donald Trump, “which sometimes feeds an attitude of conflict, with its support for the far right”.

Go deeper

“In Europe, we’re seeing groups that provoke divisions, ruptures, almost like a nostalgia for dictatorships. It is what some have called “democraships”, democracies that mix aspects of dictatorships under increasingly authoritarian political regimes.

“And this is dangerous. We see it in Italy, in Hungary, in other countries where people are afraid of the arrival of migrants and refugees… We can not accept these ‘democraships’ nor allow democracy to become a defense of our identity, in an attitude of ‘us first'”, said the Nuncio, of Italian birth.

For the record

“The Pope says: when you build a wall you lock yourself in a prison. This is not beneficial for anyone. If the United States locks itself up and builds walls, it will not develop”, continued Fratini.

“The same can be said of Europe: the fear of migrants is not positive, especially from the point of view of the demographic decline, which is a very serious problem: schools that close, loss of jobs … There are very serious consequences. Everyone realizes but nobody does anything. Not even politicians, who are often entangled in tiny Twitter fights”.