Pope Francis has reminded Nobel Peace Laureates that our human nature is one which embraces our brothers and sisters in fellowship, and that Nelson Mandela’s commitment to reconciliation embodied this mentality.
This reflection was expressed in a message that Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin sent on behalf of the Holy Father to the participants in the 14th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, which began in Rome today and concludes Sunday.
In the message to be read by Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Francis stressed how the laureates’ efforts toward peace can help find solutions for today’s world conflicts.
“In the heart of every man and woman,” the message stated, “is the desire for a full life, including that irrepressible longing for fraternity which draws us to fellowship with others.”
“This desire,” it continued, “enables us to see them not as enemies or rivals but as brothers and sisters to be accepted and embraced.”
The Argentine Pontiff recognized that their summit honors the memory of Nelson Mandela, “whose legacy of non-violence and reconciliation continues to inspire the world.”
Pone Francis also noted his deep gratitude for those committed “to promoting peace and fraternity among peoples, and for their efforts in finding solutions to the conflicts of our day.”
Moreover, the note expressed the Pope’s prayers that all present “may be renewed and encouraged in their urgent work,” and their labors “may bear an abundant harvest of peace for the world.”
The first annual World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates was held in Rome in 1999. It is an initiative of the Gorbachev Foundation, which is an international NGO founded by the former leader of the USSR. Since then, the summits have served as venues for exchanging opinions and as events promoting international peace campaigns and initiatives, often aimed at tackling violence.
Attendees of the summit include Nobel Peace laureates and prominent global figures, often active in social, scientific, political and cultural areas.
Among the participants in this year’s Rome summit are Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, and Mikhail Gorbachev.
Some of the topics discussed include extreme poverty experienced around the world, problems with managing water resources, the role of ethics in politics and economic undertakings, and cross-cultural integration of people.
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