On Easter Sunday, April 4, His Holiness Pope Francis sent a firm message to world leaders calling on them to end the “scandal” of armed conflicts and the increased military spending.
This is not the first time that Pope Francis makes such a plea. He frequently called for disarmament and ruled that the possession of nuclear weapons is immoral. As he prayed that Lord Jesus would inspire world leaders to curb the race for new weaponry and to help overcome the mindset of war”, he warned that “there are still too many wars and too much violence in the world.” The Pope also called for the attainment of peace in Mynamar, Ukraine, Syria and Yemen among others.
The Catholic Center for Studies and Media (CCSM) in Jordan had earlier presented His Holiness Pope Francis' Message for the 54th World Day of Peace marked on January 1 titled, "No Peace Without a Culture of Care "which offers the Church’s social doctrine as a "compass" to foster a culture of care for peace in the world.
In a statement issued by CCSM Director Fr. Dr. Rif'at Bader said, “The Message of World Day of Peace 2021 emphasizes that a culture of care is a distinct vehicle for peace building. This noble human end can only be attained when the culture of care is viewed as a shared and participatory commitment in order to protect and promote human dignity, serving as a step to maintain a willingness to care, to draw attention, as well as to demonstrate solidarity, respect and mutual acceptance, in lieu of the culture of indifference, marginalization and conflict that often pervades the mindset of today's world.”
On the other hand, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and the Vatican Covid-19 Commission launched an initiative on March 22, 2-21 titled, “Advancing Integral Disarmament in Times of Pandemic." This initiative firmly complies with His Holiness Pope Francis' repeated demand for the attainment of a global ceasefire implying the need to stop weapons production and its proliferation.
Since the start of Pope Francis’ pontificate, the Pope has been visiting one country after the other and calling for the attainment of fraternal relations among all peoples, combating poverty, as well as restoring peace among world countries and the various components of societies.
He made a historic and reverberating sentence which he uttered during his March 5-8 visit to Iraq. He said, “Let us silence the cries of death, no more wars… May the weapons be silenced … May there be an end to acts of violence and extremism.”
World countries are currently suffering from chronic and galloping disasters caused by endless wars which boomerang in the form of unemployment, poverty, hunger and hopelessness. The money wasted on wars would rather be invested in useful projects such as scientific research that helps alleviate the people’s suffering in all fields mostly the fields of health and medication. Furthermore, investments should also be directed towards useful industrial and agricultural projects so that the world would proceed on the road of progress and prosperity.
The Pope’s call for peace is the stand of the Catholic Church as well. It is in compliance with the message conveyed to humanity by the Prince of Peace, Lord Jesus Christ, who sowed the seed of peace of love in a world attached to mundane privileges and gains.
What is hoped is that the Pope Francis’ divine message will not fall on deaf ears but rather serve as a seed sown to germinate love, fraternity and common living.