Papal message for World Peace Day: War, hunger, chaos are united

The “moral, social, political and economic problems” facing the world cannot be solved if people and nations continue to pursue their own interests, says Pope Francis in his message for World Peace Day 2023.

“The time has come for all of us to try to heal our society and our planet, to lay the foundations for a more just and peaceful world, and “Strengthen ourselves in the search for the common good,” the pope wrote. The letter, released at the Vatican Dec. 16.

The Catholic Church celebrates World Peace Day Jan. Pope Francis personally presents signed copies to visiting leaders throughout the year.

The theme for the pope’s 2023 address is “No one can be saved,” and the article urged people to learn from the experience of the global effort to fight COVID-19 and see the Poverty and inequalities in the disease are left out, especially. Related to access to food, medicine, health care, education and technology.

Pope Francis asked people to think about a series of questions: “What have we learned from the pandemic? What new paths do we need to follow to throw off the chains of our old practices? , to be well-prepared, to root for new things? What signs of life and hope can we see, to help us move forward and try to make our world a better place ?”

When it appeared that the epidemic was almost over, the pope wrote, “a new disaster has befallen humanity. We have seen the attack of another plague: another war.

Russia’s war in Ukraine, he said, is “picking on the innocent and spreading unrest, not only among the victims directly, but in general and in general.” different for each person, even for those who, even though they are thousands of kilometers away, will suffer its severe consequences.” with the increase in the price of fuel and the lack of grain.

“This war, as well as other conflicts around the world, represents a retreat for the whole of humanity and not just for the parties involved,” the pope said.

Great efforts have led to vaccines for COVID-19, he said, but “we haven’t seen any positive results for the war,” despite the fact that “the disease of the war is more difficult than diseases that change our body. , because it does not come from outside us, but from the heart of a person polluted by sin.

Canadian Cardinal Michael Czerny, director of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, presented the message at a press conference and spoke to the Catholic News Service afterwards.

“The letter gives me hope because it doesn’t put a finger on what someone important needs to do but what each of us needs to do, is it means taking the time to ask ourselves, ‘What have I learned and not learned? And how will my life change from there?” said the cardinal. “Hopefully, the lessons will be for the benefit of all.”

People’s understanding of the virus, lockdowns, the ability to continue working and the scrambling for vaccines are different around the world, he said, but that knowledge loses its power if it doesn’t. people think about it and share it.

The message of Pope Francis, he said, is a reminder that “we are quick to forget” and then humanity is forced to move to a future disaster without making changes to relieve it. fourth.

Salesian Sister Alessandra Smerilli, secretary of the dicastery, told reporters that the pope was asking people “to go back to those terrible, difficult and painful times” at the beginning of pandemic in early 2020. “Now is the time to ask ourselves whether, as individuals and as a society, our three years in finally?”

Mindfulness, writes Pope Francis, should encourage people to change from self-centeredness to a true commitment to the common good and promote unity and a greater sense of friendship.

Collective efforts are needed to ensure health care for all and “end the conflicts and wars that perpetuate poverty and death,” he said. People need to work together to fight climate change, overcome inequality, end hunger and do decent work for all.

“We must develop the right policies for welcoming and assimilating immigrants and those who our society leaves behind,” said the pope. “By responding generously to these situations, with altruism inspired by the infinite love and mercy of God, we will be able to build a new world and contribute to the expansion of his kingdom , which is the kingdom of love, justice and peace.”