Pope Francis says "Faced with the aggravation of multiple converging political and environmental crises - hunger....your commitment to peace has never been so necessary and urgent." FULL TEXT



 Saturday, 4th September 2021



Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen!

I am pleased to address you, honorable   peace-loving leaders from various parts of the world. I thank Mr. Jean-Pierre Raffarin for his kind words.

We know that our meeting takes place at a particularly critical historical moment. Unfortunately, the pandemic has not yet been overcome and its economic and social consequences, especially for the lives of the poorest, are heavy. Not only has it impoverished the human family of many lives, each one precious and unrepeatable; it also sowed much desolation and increased tensions. Faced with the aggravation of multiple converging political and environmental crises - hunger, climate, nuclear weapons, to name a few - your commitment to peace has never been so necessary and urgent.

The challenge is to help rulers and citizens to deal with critical issues as an opportunity. For example: certain situations of environmental crisis, unfortunately aggravated by the pandemic, can and should provoke a more decisive assumption of responsibility, first of all by the highest managers, and therefore, in cascade, also at intermediate levels and in the entire citizenship . In reality, we see how it is not infrequently "from below" that solicitations and proposals come. This is very good, although sometimes such initiatives are exploited for other interests by ideologized groups. There is always the danger of "ideologization". Also in this socio-political dynamic you can play a constructive role, mainly by fostering a good knowledge of the problems and their root causes.

The pandemic, with its long aftermath of isolation and social “hyper-tension”, has inevitably also undermined political action in itself, politics as such. But even this fact can become an opportunity to promote a "better policy", without which it is not possible "the development of a world community, capable of realizing fraternity starting from peoples and nations who live social friendship" (Enc.  Brothers all , 154 ). A policy - I put myself in your perspective - that is implemented as "the architecture and craftsmanship of peace" (cf.  ibid ., 228-235 ). To build peace both things are necessary: ​​"architecture", "in which the various institutions of society intervene" ( ibid.., 231 ), and "craftsmanship", which must involve everyone, even those sectors that are often excluded or made invisible (cf.  ibid . ).

It is therefore a question of working simultaneously on two levels: cultural and institutional. At the first level it is important to promote a  culture of faces , which places the dignity of the person at the center, respect for his or her history, especially if wounded and marginalized. It is also a  culture of encounter , in which we listen to and welcome our brothers and sisters, with "trust in the reserves of good that are in the hearts of the people" ( ibid. , 196 ). At the second level - that of the institutions - it is urgent to encourage multilateral dialogue and collaboration, because multilateral agreements guarantee better than bilateral ones "the care of a truly universal common good and the protection of the weakest states" ( ibid ., 174). In any case, "let's not stop on theoretical discussions, let's make contact with the wounds, let's touch the flesh of those who suffer the damage" ( ibid. , 261 ).

Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you for your visit and I encourage your commitment to peace and to a more just and fraternal society. God grant you to experience in your life that joy that He has promised to builders of peace. Thanks.

FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va- Unofficial Translation