The Holy Father, Pope Francis has described hope as the panacea for global peace as it has remained the sustainability pillar of the world in spite of tribulations and seemingly insurmountable obstacles in all corners of the world.
The Pope made this assertion in his 2020 World Day of Peace message, released by the Vatican and titled: Peace as A Journey of Hope: Dialogue, Reconciliation and Ecological Conversion. According to him: “Peace is a great and precious value, the object of our hope and the aspiration of the entire human family”.
While expressing concern about the memories of the scars of global wars and conflicts, particularly as the afflict the poor and the vulnerable, Pope Francis declared: “Entire nations find it difficult to break free of the chains of exploitation and corruption that fuel hatred and violence. Even today, dignity, physical integrity, freedom, including religious freedom, communal solidarity and hope in the future are denied to great numbers of men and women, young and old. He added: “Many are the victims of painful humiliation and exclusion, sorrow and injustice, to say nothing of the trauma born of systematic attacks on their people and their loved ones.”
He added: “The terrible trials of internal and international conflicts, often aggravated by ruthless acts of violence, have an enduring effect on the body and soul of humanity. Every war is a form of fratricide that destroys the human family’s innate vocation to brotherhood.” He continued: “Every threatening situation feed mistrust and lead people to withdraw into their own safety zone. Mistrust and fear weaken, relationships and increase the risk of violence, creating a vicious circle that can never lead to a relationship of peace.”
He continued: “We cannot claim to maintain stability in the world through the fear of annihilation, in a volatile situation, suspended on the brink of a nuclear abyss and enclosed behind walls of indifference”. These situations the Holy Father contended have led to social and economic decisions that have resulted in “tragic situations where human beings and creation itself are discarded rather than protected and preserved”
Pope Francis also described peace as a journey of listening based on memory, solidarity and fraternity; peace, a journey of reconciliation in fraternal communion and peace as a journey of ecological conversion.
Offering several solutions for the identified challenges, Pope Francis among other things stressed the need for the pursuit of “a genuine fraternity based on our common origin from God and exercised in dialogue and mutual trust; adding that: “The desire for peace lies deep within the human heart, and we should not resign ourselves to seeking anything less than this.”
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