War can be prevented by promoting social progress for the new generations, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher has said.
The Vatican Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations highlighted this point on Wednesday at the opening of the 98th assembly of the Union of Superiors General (USG), taking place at the Fraterna Domus of Sacrofano, near Rome, until November 25.
The USG Assembly
The three-day assembly is discussing the theme "Fratelli tutti: called to be artisans of peace”, drawn from paragraph 225 of the encyclical on human fraternity in which Pope Francis says that “In many parts of the world, there is a need for paths of peace to heal open wounds”, emphasizing that “There is also a need for peacemakers, men and women prepared to work boldly and creatively to initiate processes of healing and renewed encounter”.
The meeting is focusing on the Church’s commitment to promote peace in the world and in particular on the USG and UISG’s (International Union of Women Superiors General) common commitment to peace, justice and integrity of creation, in particular through their training programs for consecrated men and women.
Ensuring peace implies the total rejection of war and dialogue
In his opening remarks, Archbishop Gallagher insisted that the Church cannot but be committed to peace.
He noted that Pope St. Paul VI’s emphasis on dialogue as the only means to attain peace is still expressed incessantly today by Pope Francis who has referred to the current global geopolitical situation, including the ongoing war in Ukraine, as a “Third World War”.
Peace is not the simple absence of conflicts
According to the Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations, "ensuring peace implies first of all the total rejection of war and seeking dialogue at any cost, helping to create a climate of growing trust that guarantees the path towards a future". Likewise "it is necessary to ensure the foundations of peace", which he remarked, "is not only the absence of conflicts but the peaceful resolution of disputes between nations, with a view to safeguarding the human rights, including the right to freedom of conscience and religion".
The USG assembly will conclude on Saturday, November 26, with a meeting in the Vatican with Pope Francis.
The Union of Superiors General
The Union of Superiors General (USG) is an international organization of Superiors General of men's Religious Institutes or Societies of Apostolic Life, of Pontifical Right.
Since 1952, when the Superiors General first met, it has been an international forum where they share experiences, exchange information, and accompany each other in their service.
The purpose of the USG is to “promote the life and mission of the individual institutes at the service of the Church, for a more effective collaboration among them, and for a more fruitful contact with the Holy See and the Hierarchy."