Cardinal João Bráz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, took part in Saturday’s prayer vigil in Saint Peter’s Square to pray for peace in the world.
When it was over, ZENIT talked with him about what he experienced in the Vigil and he said: “We believe that God is a God of peace” and that “although humanity has had a history of many wars, perhaps it’s arriving at a point of maturity especially with globalization in which the consciousness of peace is far more profound.”
He also pointed out that it is necessary to ask God for peace because men and women cannot bring it about.
Knowing the result of wars, the grief that comes from them, and the fact they never bring anything good, “perhaps this is asking for a new moment of balance in the world also for decision-making.”
In this connection the cardinal stressed that perhaps “the old UN system that came after the War is too small and that it’s necessary to enlarge it,” and he specified that, for instance, “these decisions should be made not with the prevalence of the vote of one that has more power than another, but a decision that is made by all the nations that represent the world’s balance.”
In addition he said that “we don’t have the power of weapons; we have the power of prayer and the power to ask God” for peace.
In regard to Saturday’s vigil in Saint Peter’s Square, he added that he believes that it has “much of this meaning, the Pope’s faith, the faith of the whole Church and all the Churches, given that the Pope also called other religions and men and women of good will, saying that we must pray together.” The Cardinal explained that this is “the new mentality, where each one has something to contribute to these great ideals.”
Finally, referring to the diplomatic role of the Holy See in the Syrian crisis, Cardinal Bráz de Aviz pointed out that, above all, there is “a very strong consciousness that the Church is present” and that “we believe in the merciful goodness of God who wants to save his people.” He added that “in his simplicity the Pope represents much of this.” That is why, “more than diplomacy it’s the capacity to bring together the great ideals that exist in man’s and woman’s hearts.”