Fr. Bader: Seven clues instill peace in socieities

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Fr. Bader: Seven clues instill peace in socieities

By Fr. Dr. Rif’at Bader

Director of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media (CCSM) in Jordan Fr. Dr. Rif’at Bader, taking part in the two-day 2019 World Tolerance Summit which kicked off in Dubai on Wednesday, November 13, delivered the following intervention:

How can we spread the atmosphere of peace in our society?

Dear friends,
He who follows the conditions experienced by our peoples will realize that their great thirst is for hope and grace. In this context, among the most important divine or theological virtues is grace because it is closely related to heaven, whereas hope falls within the framework of mundane issues and temporary successes.

Behold the greatest thirst. It is for grace. Grace cannot be fulfilled without being associated with justice, peace, security, stability, human dignity, job creation, and striving to eliminate or at least reduce unemployment rates and poverty, as well as promote the levels of freedoms and rights.

There has recently been much talk about security. I think that this word has a positive connotation, but unfortunately it has a negative implication, because it is used in an atmosphere where fear is abounding. This is what terrorism or terrorist groups succeeded in spreading and promoting. Nowadays, security does not mean tranquility. It rather implies fear and promotion of terror; it is a failed management of terror.

Peace is the major absent factor in our lands, sea, and space. Instead of talking about the peace process, peaceful negotiation, and the right to self-determination, we are talking nowadays about a "deal" here and there, as well as walls rather than bridges.

Pope Francis says that societies should not build "walls but bridges" to encourage good relations between people: "We must bear the weakness of others! This testimony does not remain closed within the confines of the Christian community but resonates strongly outside, in the social and civil context, as a call not to create walls, but bridges, not to exchange evil for evil, to overcome evil for good and to offend forgiveness. A Christian can never say, “You will pay the price!” This is not a Christian act! We must overcome the abuse of forgiveness and live in peace with everyone. This is what God does Christian DONC when it takes a strong and compassionate feature of love!" (Pope Francis public interview, February 8, 2017).

How can we spread an atmosphere of peace where fear and schism prevail?
To fulfill this wish, we must look for clues because it is not possible to talk about a panacea and comprehensive solutions.

The first clue is integral development to serve humans, all human being and humanity.

The second clue is patience. The road is long; we do not want to hurry, transcend all the stages and ignore the tribulations of people. We want to get the desired results represented in the fruits of patient and careful work. We have to be patient with our societies. They are in a state of fruitfulness which could face impediments, but they will definitely create generations that believe only in the power of love and justice for all.

The third clue is wisdom: We pray in the church and say: "O God give us the wisdom in dealing with world affairs and longing for the affairs of the hereafter." This wisdom is required by presidents, as well as by political and religious leaders so as not to be encouraged to make friendships rather than animosities.

The fourth clue is well breeding and not merely education. Our education system needs comprehensive reform which includes the curriculums, the life of teachers, the infrastructure and equality of the students. There are wealthy people who are able to pursue their studies in schools that teach international curricula. There are also local curricula. There are rich and poor students. Can we reach full equality?

The fifth clue is the media. This implies the media, especially the use of modern media tools which have become the fifth authority, rather than the fourth one. We have to talk about media ethics. Here is the Media Code of Ethics that was signed in Amman last June.

The sixth clue is the preservation of plurality including the religious freedom which is the mother and the crown of freedoms. Pope Benedict XVI says we must proceed from the stage of tolerance to religious freedom. Pope Benedict XVI says in his Apostolic Exhortation, "The Church in the Middle East": “Religious tolerance exists in several countries, but it does not produce a tangible result because it remains limited in the scope of its application. It is important to move from religious tolerance to religious freedom.” In Amman, we marked the 15th anniversary of the Amman Message a few days ago. In the United Arab Emirates you mark the year of tolerance and the Ministry of Tolerance. Yet, we have to move one step ahead, namely full citizenship and equality among all. We must also proceed from the stage of the freedom of religious observance to complete religious freedom.

The seventh clue is positivity. Reverting to modern media, the media can create a frustrating general climate. Media can also create an atmosphere of calm, of tranquility, of positivity, of hope, and of grace. Let us encourage in our daily tweets the creation of an atmosphere of joy and optimism, the future is promising, God willing.

Peace be upon you.

+en.abouna.org

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