In a video message, Pope Francis addressed participants in the Sixth National Catholic Congress on Hispanic Ministry, held in Washington d.c. , from 26 to 30 April. Promoted by the U.S. National Catholic Council for Hispanic Ministry, the event is an opportunity to dialogue, discern and develop pastoral responses to the ministerial priorities of the Hispanic community. The following is a translation of the Holy Father’s words which were given in Spanish.
I affectionately greet the participants in the Consejo Nacional Católico para el Ministerio Hispano (National Catholic Council for Hispanic Ministry) of the United States, which has convened the Sixth Congreso Nacional de Liderazgo Católico del Ministerio Hispano, Raíces y Alas 2022 (Sixth National Catholic Congress on Hispanic Ministry, Roots and Wings 2022) in Washington, on the theme: “Prophetic Voices: Being bridges for a new era”.
The theme is important, though it sounds a bit grand. You have chosen a good theme, in this absurd time in which, without having yet come out of a pandemic that has afflicted all humanity with suffering and sorrow, we find ourselves in the midst of the suffering and tragedy of a war. Every war is born of injustice, every war, including those that at times we wage in our families and communities, that are fought in silence; they too are born of injustice. It is sad to see that humanity is not capable of thinking with mindsets and plans of peace. We all think with mindsets of war. It is existential ‘cainism’. The brotherhood of all — it is for all — is not made manifest in mindsets that change the life of families, communities, peoples, nations and the world.
I invite you to reflect on the need to be Christians who transform structures and who can create bridges in all sectors of society, illuminating thought, so that it may lead to actions that can bring peace and unity at all levels, starting from our families and communities. I need peace, you need peace, the world needs peace, breathing peace is healthy. We need tangible signs of peace. Christians must set the example.
I ask you to be bridges, to create bridges, to pray and work for peace, and do not forget to pray for me.
I wish you all the best, and I give you my apostolic blessing: in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.