VATICAN CITY, JAN. 1, 2002 (Zenit.org).- In his first appeal of 2002, John Paul II proposed “a global mobilization of consciences” against negative forces that “are bent on making the world a theater of war.”
The Pontiff made his proposal at the end of Mass on World Day of Peace. This year the motto for the day was “No peace without justice; no justice without forgiveness.”
After celebrating Mass in a packed St. Peter´s Basilica, the Pope spoke from the window of his library to the thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter´s Square.
“In a globalized world, where threats to justice and peace have large-scale repercussions to the detriment of the weakest, the global mobilization of consciences is an imperative,” he said.
“Unfortunately, at this time of history, preoccupations and difficulties place obstacles on this road,” the Pope said. “However, it cannot and must not be abandoned. There must be a response of justice and love to negative forces, guided by perverse interests, which are bent on making the world a theater of war.”
“In fact, there is no possibility of re-establishing the broken order if justice and forgiveness are not combined,” John Paul II emphasized.
“Together, we must be firmly opposed to the temptation to hatred and violence, which only gives the illusion of resolving conflicts, but ends in real and permanent losses,” the Holy Father continued.
John Paul II had expressed these ideas earlier, during the homily of the Mass, when he renewed his appeal to Jews, Muslims and Christians “to express always a firm and decided rejection of violence.”
“No one, no matter what the reason, can kill in the name of the one and merciful God,” he said.
John Paul II ended the homily by joining his voice to those who appeal for peace in the Holy Land. “The voice of blood cries out to God from that land — the blood of brothers shed by brothers,” he said.
During the Prayer of the Faithful, a young woman spoke in Hebrew and called for prayers for “the family, states and the international community,” and for understanding that the ability to forgive is the foundation of all plans for a society” of fraternity, justice and solidarity.
A Portuguese youth invited the faithful to pray “for the men who are committed to terrorism” and asked the Lord “to show them the truth and deliver them from their spirit of vengeance.”
Pope Paul VI established World Day of Peace 35 years ago.