BY SCO Admin | December 25 2015 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

1-POPE-WITH-DOVE

Pope Francis: Don’t give up on peace

Pope Francis calls on Catholics to defeat war by embracing mercy in his message for the 2016 World Day of Peace on January 1.

The Holy Father stressed the need for concrete acts of mercy on the part of families, individuals and political leaders, such as the abolition of the death penalty and amnesty for prisoners convicted of political offences.

“God is not indifferent! God cares about mankind! God does not abandon us!” was the opening line of the Holy Father’s message for the 2016 World Day of Peace, published December 15.

Instituted by Blessed Pope Paul VI in 1968, the World Day of Peace is celebrated each year on the first day of January.

In a world afflicted by ‘a real third world war fought piecemeal,’ the Pope expressed his desire to encourage people ‘not to lose hope in our human ability to conquer evil and to combat resignation and indifference.’

He pointed to several initiatives over the past year that have brought world leaders together in an effort to overcome self-interest and apathy, such as the recently concluded COP21 summit on climate change in Paris, the Addis Ababa Summit on funding global sustainable development and the adoption of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Calling indifference ‘a menace to the human family,’ the Pope noted that the attitude takes three forms: indifference to God, to our neighbour and to creation.

Indifference toward God, he noted, ‘transcends the purely private sphere and affects the public and social sphere.’

“Disregard and the denial of God, which lead man to acknowledge no norm above himself and himself alone, have produced untold cruelty and violence,” he said, while indifference toward one’s neighbour is expressed in a general disinterest and a lack of engagement.

Rather than ensuring that the basic rights and needs of others are preserved, economic and political projects frequently pursue power instead, he observed. When people see their basic rights, such as food, water, health care and employment denied, ‘they are tempted to obtain them by force.’

The Holy Father also stressed that indifference is ultimately overcome by personal conversion, and pointed to the example of Jesus, who took on flesh and showed solidarity with humanity.

He closed his message with a threefold appeal to national leaders, beginning with a request for them ‘to refrain from drawing other peoples into conflicts or wars,’ which only lead to destruction.

—ian@sconews.co.uk

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