Francis call for ‘committed, active peacemakers’

A sculpture with peace doves in Beijing (CNS/Qianlong, Reuters)

The world does not need more empty words, it needs committed, active peacemakers who are open to respectful dialogue, Pope Francis said in his annual message for the World Day of Peace on January 1. Source: CNS.

“In fact, we cannot truly achieve peace without a convinced dialogue between men and women who seek the truth beyond ideologies and differing opinions,” the Pope said in the message released yesterday.

Peace requires “patient effort to seek truth and justice, to honour the memory of victims and to open the way, step by step, to a shared hope stronger than the desire for vengeance,” he said.

Peace also requires “ecological conversion,” he said, which basically is “a new way of looking at life as we consider the generosity of the Creator who has given us the earth and called us to a share it in joy and moderation”.

People, he said, need “a new way to dwell in our common home, to accept our differences, to respect and celebrate the life that we have received and share, and to seek living conditions and models of society that favour the continued flourishing of life and the development of the common good of the entire human family”.

The Pope’s message was released at a Vatican news conference led by Cardinal Peter Turkson, head of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

The Pope defined peace as a journey built on: hope that inspires people to keep moving forward, “even when obstacles seem insurmountable”; listening that learns lessons from the past; reconciliation that respects others; ecological conversion; and patience and trust.

His message, which the Vatican sends to heads of state around the world, invited everyone “to set aside every act of violence in thought, word and deed, whether against our neighbours or against God’s creation”.

“The culture of fraternal encounter shatters the culture of conflict,” he said, and it makes “every encounter a possibility and a gift of God’s generous love. It leads us beyond the limits of our narrow horizons and constantly encourages us to a live in a spirit of universal fraternity, as children of the one heavenly Father.”

FULL STORY

World needs peacemakers, not empty words, pope says in message (CNS)

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