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Isolation spreads fear and mistrust, says pope

Humanity is enriched when we are with others, pontiff says

November 25, 2016

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Pope Francis has said people are made to be with each other and warned about the harmful consequences of isolation in a message to a Catholic festival.

"Our humanity is much enriched when we are with others in whatever situation they may find themselves. It is isolation that harms, not sharing," said Pope Francis in a video message to participants at the Sixth Festival of the Social Doctrine of the Church.

"Isolation spreads fear and mistrust and stops us from rejoicing in brotherhood," said the pope via a translation by Vatican Radio.

"We really must tell each other that we are taking more risks when we isolate ourselves rather than when we open ourselves to the other: there is a much higher probability of hurting ourselves in closure and rejection than in encounter," he said.

"The same is true when we get close to someone: I am thinking of a sick or elderly person, an immigrant, an unemployed or a poor person. When we take care of the other we end up complicating our own life far less than when we're just focused upon ourselves."

With the theme "Amongst People," the festival is being held in Verona from Nov. 24-27.

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