The military profession shows its nobility and its need especially when it is placed at the service of good causes such as the pursuit of peace, respect for the law, the protection of the poor and the weak, the opposition to those who want war.” According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis expressed this sentiment in a letter sent to the Military Ordinariate of Europe, meeting in Paris for the fourth European conference on “Identity and Mission of the Military Ordinariate and Their Role for Peace.”
The conference, which opened Monday with the intervention of the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, is in its final day.
“The soldier”– Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, who sent the letter on behalf of Pope Francis, wrote–,”is called to live authentically his or her Christian vocation in a very particular way, with the generous gift of his life to the service of God and neighbor, in close union with crucified and risen Christ.”
“The Holy Father,” the Vatican official noted, “cares for the faithful who generously embrace this form of life and this ideal, as well as their loved ones.”
The note also expressed the Pontiff’s prayers that they and their families be comforted, supported and illuminated by the Church with the greatest possible care, so that faith, hope and love prevail over danger and death.
“The fourth European conference,” said Cardinal Ouellet in his opening, reported SIR, “is an opportunity to reflect on the history and life of the Ordinariate in recent years in light of their Apostolic Constitution which has furthered awareness of their particular mission to protect life and defend peace.”
“The Military Ordinariate,” Cardinal Ouellet said, according to SIR, “now holds an important role in the commitment of the Church to promote and foster peace.”
He praised that they promote a vision that focuses on the common good of humanity, “even in matters of war and peace and thus help to broaden the perspective in public debates, to consider, in addition to the narrow national interests, the just demands of the common good of society world.”
“This vision, nourished by the consequences of the evangelical and Christian morality,” Cardinal Oullet said, “has a vision of peace that goes far beyond a mere silence of weapons.” He underscored that it is oriented to the Biblical understanding of peace that gives attention to the poor, the weak and the needy, and that is founded upon the commitment to create a more just and human society. (D.C.L.)