Christians, If United, Could Better Promote Peace, Says Pope

Sees the Overcoming of Differences as a Pacifying Force

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 12, 2004 ( John Paul II appealed to Christians of all confessions to discover the «pacifying force» they could unleash by overcoming their own divisions.

This was the conclusion of the Pope’s address today to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See, in which he analyzed the situation of world peace.

«You know that the ecumenical commitment is one of the interests of my pontificate,» he told the ambassadors. «I am convinced that if Christians were capable of overcoming their divisions, the world would be more solidaristic.»

«This is why I have always favored joint meetings and statements, seeing in each one an example and stimulus for the unity of the human family,» the Holy Father said.

We «Christians have the responsibility» to propound «the Gospel of peace,» he added. «All of us together can contribute effectively to respect for life, the safeguarding of the dignity of every human person and of his inalienable rights, of social justice, and of the preservation of the environment.»

«Moreover, the practice of an evangelical style of life enables Christians to help their fellow human beings to overcome their instincts, to engage in gestures of understanding and forgiveness, and to go together to the assistance of those in need,» the Pope said.

«Insufficient value is placed on the pacifying force that united Christians might have within their own community, as well as within civil society,» he contended.

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