Whenever a war or a state of instability erupts in any part of the world, His Holiness Pope Francis emerges as the first leader in our modern time who propitiously steps in to help eliminate tensions, restore stability, and help bring about atmospheres conducive to the attainment of permanent peace.
Our modern history is rife with examples that reveal Pope Francis' expression of unstinting endeavors to restore global peace. One of the salient efforts is his assiduous efforts to maintain peace in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo which he is scheduled to visit shortly.
When the Ukrainian-Russian conflagration erupted, the Vatican offered to mediate negotiations between the warring parties, as Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said, "We must avoid every escalation, halt the conflict, and negotiate."
Expressing "great pain in his heart", Pope Francis said, “We must repudiate war, a place of death where fathers and mothers bury their children, where men kill their brothers without even seeing them, where the powerful decide and the poor die… that is the bestiality of war, something that is barbarous and sacrilegious.”
He also lamented the dreadful situation stating that "in Ukraine, rivers of blood and tears are flowing. This is not only a military operation but a war which is leading to death, destruction and misery."
In the introduction to this 192-page new book, Pope Francis remembers his pilgrimage to martyred Iraq, where he was able to touch with his own hands the disaster caused by war, fratricidal violence and terrorism, and the rubble of homes and the wounds of hearts, but also seeds of hope for rebirth, yet he never imagined then that a conflict would break out in Europe.
He stresses in the book that since the beginning of his service as bishop of Rome, he has spoken of World War III, saying that "we are already living it, though only in pieces", with so many wars are going on in the world right now and reappear from time to time before our inattentive eyes while causing immense pain, innocent victims, especially children as well as forcing millions of people to flee, forced to leave their land, their homes, their destroyed cities to save their lives.
The Pope laments that among the most affected in the Ukraine-Russia conflict are unfortunately many innocent civilians, many women, many children, many elderly people, forced to live in shelters dug in the belly of the earth to escape the bombs, with families that are divided because the husbands, fathers, grandfathers remain to fight, while the wives, mothers and grandmothers seek refuge after long journeys of hope and cross the border seeking hospitality in other countries that receive them with a large heart.
The Pope vociferously calls for stopping the war stating that "war is not the solution, war is madness, war is a monster, war is a cancer that feeds off itself, engulfing everything! More so, war is a sacrilege that wreaks havoc on what is most precious on our earth, human life, the innocence of the little ones, and the beauty of creation."
Decrying the fact that $1,981 billion are spent per year--according to the calculations of an important study center in Stockholm--for rearmament, to equip armies with increasingly sophisticated weapons, to increase the market and the traffic of weapons that end up killing children, women and old people, he stresses that what is needed is dialogue, negotiations, listening, diplomatic capacity and creativity, far-sighted politics capable of building a new system of coexistence that is no longer based on weapons, on the power of weapons, on deterrence.
This book serves as a vibrant call for peace with a need to shun violence, wars, and bloodshed. It is a message for the attainment of global peace. This book is a manifestation and an embodiment of the message expressed by the Holy Bible which calls for peace. This book is the gem of modern books as it conveys a divine message for love, mercy, and peace.
Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
The entire world earnestly needs the peace of Jesus Christ whereby “God shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4)