· Vatican City ·

Appeal for Peace at the meeting ‘Peoples as Brothers, Future Earth. Religions and Cultures in Dialogue’

Demilitarize the human heart

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08 October 2021

In the world there are many open wars, there are terrorist threats, there is serious violence. The use of force as an instrument of international politics is being rehabilitated. Moreover, a generation that lived through the Second World War is disappearing: thus the memory of the horror of war is waning. The significant progress towards a culture of peace, which has led to the development of a shared vision of the common destiny of humanity, is being questioned.

Peoples suffer. The refugees of war and of the environmental crisis are suffering, the discarded, the weak, the defenceless. They are often offended and humiliated women, children without a childhood, abandoned old people. The poor, so often invisible, today participate in a special way in our meeting: they are the first to invoke peace. Listening to them makes us better understand the folly of all conflicts and violence.

Religions can build peace and educate to it. Religions cannot be used for war. Only peace is holy, and no one should ever use the name of God to bless terror and violence. If you see wars around you, do not be resigned! Peoples long for peace. Fraternity between religions is making progress, despite the difficulties. We thank all the friends of dialogue in the world and we say to them: courage! The future of the world depends on this: that we recognise ourselves as brothers and sisters. Peoples have a destiny as brothers and sisters on this earth.

The disarmament process, which is currently blocked, must be restarted. The arms trade and their use must be stopped. We must push ahead with nuclear disarmament. The proliferation of nuclear weapons is an incredible threat. We must make peace. Peace is also about respecting the planet, nature and creatures. The destruction of the environment is due to the arrogance of human beings who feel they own it. An ego that believes it is the owner becomes a predator ego, ready for domination and war.

Peoples as brothers and future earth are inextricably linked. The pandemic has shown how human beings are in the same boat, bound by profound threads. The future does not belong to those who squander and exploit, to those who live for themselves and ignore others. The future belongs to women and men who are in solidarity and to peoples who are brothers. May God help us to rebuild the common human family and to respect mother earth. In front of the Colosseum, symbol of greatness but also of suffering, let us reaffirm with the strength of faith that the name of God is peace.

Rome, October 7, 2021