Pope Francis to Leaders "We have realized that the human family, threatened by war, runs a more serious danger: the lack of will to build peace."

 This morning, the Holy Father Francis received in audience the members of the NGO "Leader pour la Paix" and addressed them the following words of greeting:
Greeting from the Holy Father
Ladies and gentlemen!
I am delighted to have this moment of meeting with you, members of the Leaders pour la Paix, and I thank you for the presence and activity of your Itinerant School of Peace, which is being held these days at the Pontifical Lateran University.

Being a Leader pour la Paix at the moment we are going through is a great responsibility and not just a commitment. We have realized that the human family, threatened by war, runs a more serious danger: the lack of will to build peace. Your experience teaches you that, in the face of war, silencing the weapons is the first step to take, but then the present and the future of coexistence, institutions, structures and services will have to be reconstructed. Peace requires forms of reconciliation, shared values ​​and – indispensable – paths of education and formation.
Building peace asks us to be creative, to go beyond, if necessary, the usual schemes of international relations, and at the same time to oppose those who entrust war with the task of resolving disputes between states and within states, or even think of realizing with force the conditions of justice necessary for coexistence among peoples. We cannot forget that the sacrifice of human lives, the suffering of the population, the indiscriminate destruction of civilian structures, the violation of the principle of humanity are not "side effects" of war, no, they are international crimes. This we must say and repeat.
Using weapons to resolve conflicts is a sign of weakness and fragility. Negotiating, proceeding with mediation and starting conciliation requires courage. The courage not to feel superior to others; the courage to face the causes of the conflict, abandoning interests and plans for hegemony; the courage to overcome the category of the enemy, to become builders of universal fraternity, which finds strength in diversity and unity in the aspirations common to every person.
Even more is required the courage to work together in the face of the challenge of the least who ask not for a theoretical peace, but for life hope. Building peace therefore means initiating and supporting development processes to eliminate poverty, defeat hunger, guarantee health and care, safeguard the common home, promote fundamental rights and overcome the discrimination caused by human mobility. Only then will peace become synonymous with dignity for each of our brothers and sisters.
Upon all of you and upon your work, I invoke all the grace of God and ask you not to forget to pray for me. And if someone doesn't pray because he doesn't know how or can't, at least send me good waves: I need them for this job! Thank you.