Among the elements that draw attention are his
comments on the widely differing reactions in the West to the two measures
imposed in a rather broadly way: mandatory face masks and social distancing.
Resistance to the former has been strong since the face and its expressions are
considered fundamental to communication between people. In contrast, social
distancing was much more easily accepted because individualism and the value of
personal freedom, stalwart values in the west, were in-line with an
encouragement to distance ourselves from “others,”
Yet, Christianity is a religion of the Incarnation, of
God who comes close to us. The Gospel invites us to be close to those in need.
Jesus touches the people he heals and “converts.” The Church of tomorrow should
help people to come closer, in a variety of ways. The values that inspire the Church
will enable it to help people to slow down, to become more contemplative, to
appreciate symbols. The Church could help people to enter into a lifestyle that
makes room for proximity, for family, for the earth, rather than for “globalized”
or “connected” relationships. It will also be invited to take risks, with
courage, to venture where God will call it.