Pope at Spirit of Assisi: God's name 'cannot bless terror and violence'

[ point evaluation5/5 ]1 people who voted
Đã xem: 307 | Cật nhập lần cuối: 10/26/2022 8:13:51 AM | RSS

Pope at Spirit of Assisi: God's name 'cannot bless terror and violence'At the Community of Sant'Egidio's 'Cry for Peace' at the Colosseum, Pope Francis reiterates that religions cannot be used for war, and calls for nations to defuse conflicts with the weapon of dialogue.

“Religions cannot be used for war. Only peace is holy, and no one is to use the name of God to bless terror and violence. If you see wars around you, do not resign yourselves! The peoples desire peace."

This was the appeal of Pope Francis, along with religious leaders, during the closing ceremony of the annual 'Spirit of Assisi' prayer for peace on Tuesday afternoon at Rome's iconic Colosseum.

The Pope recalled that these words he and religious leaders declared together a year ago, gathered in the same place, and said the appeal we launched "is all the more timely today," and "we must strive to do ever better each day."

“Let us never grow resigned to war. Let us cultivate seeds of reconciliation.”

"Today let us raise to heaven our plea for peace," the Pope said.

In the face of threats of nuclear weapons and anguished pleas, the Pope warned that war constitutes "a failure" and suggested it "summons everyone" to do everything, at every level, to stop it.

JP II's 'Spirit of Assisi'

The three-day peace summit, held under the theme 'Il Grido della Pace' (The Cry for Peace), was hosted by the Community of Sant’Egidio, and has welcomed Heads of State, religious leaders, and various high-ranking authorities.

This year's gathering marks the 36th edition of the meetings initiated in the wake of the historic World Day of Interreligious Prayer for Peace of 27 October 1986, convoked by Pope St. John Paul II.

High-level international venue

The event in Rome was inaugurated Sunday at the “Nuvola” Congress Center in the Italian capital's EUR business district, with the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian President Sergio Matterella.

Religious leaders from Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Hinduism, came together and made an appeal for peace.

This marks the third-consecutive year Pope Francis has participated in the annual event.

While the Summits generally were held in different European cities, since the pandemic, they have been held in Rome, and with the Holy Father's presence at each prayer gathering.

“In a special way, I thank the Christian leaders and those of other religions, who have joined us in the same spirit of fraternity that inspired the first historic convocation willed by Saint John Paul II in Assisi, thirty-six years ago.”

Heartfelt plea 'where peace has been trampled upon'

Pope Francis said this year's prayer for peace holds a special importance.

"This year our prayer has become a heartfelt plea," he said, "because today peace has been gravely violated, assaulted and trampled upon, and this in Europe, on the very continent that in the last century endured the horrors of two World Wars."

Sadly, since then, the Pope lamented, wars have continued to cause bloodshed and to impoverish the earth.

Particularly dramatic

“Yet the situation that we are presently experiencing is particularly dramatic.”

That is why, he said, we have raised our prayer to God, "who always hears the anguished plea of His sons and daughters."

Hatred spreads as fighting continues

Peace, the Pope recalled, is at the heart of religions, their sacred writings, and their teaching.

“This evening, amid the silence of prayer, we have heard that plea for peace: a peace suppressed in so many areas of the world, violated by all too many acts of violence, and denied even to children and the elderly, who have not been spared the bitter sufferings of war.”

That plea for peace, he lamented, is often stifled, not only by hostile rhetoric but also by indifference.

"It is reduced to silence by hatred," he said, "which spreads as the fighting continues."

No magic formulas, but everyone is summoned

Yet, the Holy Father underscored, the plea for peace cannot be suppressed.

"It rises from the hearts of mothers; it is deeply etched on the faces of refugees, displaced families, the wounded and the dying. And this silent plea rises up to heaven."

It has no magic formulas for ending conflict, he continued, "but it does have the sacred right to implore peace in the name of all those who suffer, and it deserves to be heard. "

“It rightfully summons everyone, beginning with government leaders, to take time and listen, seriously and respectfully.”

That plea for peace, he said, expresses "the pain and the horror of war," which is "the mother of all poverty."

Failure of war and threat of nuclear weapons

“Every war leaves our world worse than it was before. War is a failure of politics and of humanity, a shameful capitulation, a stinging defeat before the forces of evil," continued Pope Francis.

These convictions, the Pope said, are the fruit of the painful lessons of the twentieth century, "and sadly, once more, the beginning of the twenty-first."

“Today, in fact, something we dreaded and hoped never to hear of again is threatened outright: the use of atomic weapons, which even after Hiroshima and Nagasaki continued wrongly to be produced and tested.”

"In this bleak scenario, where, sad to say, the plans of potent world leaders make no allowance for the just aspirations of peoples, God’s plan for our salvation, which is 'a plan for peace and not for evil,'" the Holy Father said, "never changes."

"Peace," the Pope said, "is God’s gift, and we have implored that gift from Him."

"Yet peace," he clarified, "must be embraced and nurtured by us men and women, especially by those of us who are believers."

The perverse rationale of war

The Pope then made a series of appeals: "Let us not be infected by the perverse rationale of war; let us not fall into the trap of hatred for the enemy. Let us once more put peace at the heart of our vision for the future, as the primary goal of our personal, social and political activity at every level."

"Let us defuse conflicts," he said, "by the weapon of dialogue."

“In October 1962, amid a grave international crisis, when military confrontation and nuclear holocaust seemed imminent, Saint John XXIII made this appeal: “We plead with all government leaders not to remain deaf to this cry of humanity. Let them do everything in their power to safeguard peace.”

"They will," said Pope St John XXIII, "thus spare the world the horrors of a war, the terrible consequences of which cannot be foreseen... Promoting, fostering, and accepting dialogue at all levels and in all times is a rule of wisdom and prudence that attracts the blessing of heaven and earth.”

Sixty years later, Pope Francis observed, these words still impress us by their timeliness, saying he makes them his own.

"We are not 'neutral', but allied for peace”, and for that reason “we invoke the ius pacis as the right of all to settle conflicts without violence.”

Religions cannot bless violence

The Pope expressed appreciation that in recent years, fraternal relations between religions have taken decisive steps forward.

He also reiterated that religions cannot be used for war, and that God's name can never bless terror and violence.

Pope Francis concluded by appealing for nations and peoples to never grow used to war or resigned to it, calling instead for reconciliation and voices raised together to heaven for peace.

International event

The event, appealing for peace, especially as the world is engulfed by war, and especially the ongoing war in Ukraine, has brought together, once again, an impressive line up of participants, including several Vatican prefects, including Cardinal Kurt Koch of the Vatican's Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, and Cardinal José Tolentino Calaça de Mendonça of the Dicastery for Education and Culture.

In addition to presidents of national Bishops' Conferences, Cardinal Raffael Sako of Iraq, and Archbishop Laurent Ulrich of Paris, also were present.

Deborah Castellano Lubov
Source: vaticannews.va