Pope Francis has given the answer to the drama of evil: Christ.
While addressing the Vatican’s charitable dicastery, the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, and aid agencies this morning in the Vatican, and reflecting on the suffering plaguing the world, Francis underscored this.
The Pope began his discourse thanking those gathered for all the Church is doing to alleviate the suffering of the millions of victims of these conflicts, and urging for a renewed cooperation at all levels between the different actors working in this sector.
Despite extensive efforts made in a variety of areas, the Pontiff lamented, “the logic of arms and oppression, hidden interests and violence continues to wreak devastation on these countries and that, even now, we have not been able to put an end to the exasperating suffering and repeated violations of human rights.”
The Pope decried the dramatic consequences of the crisis are already visible well beyond the borders of the region, and seen especially “in the grave phenomenon” of migration.
“Violence begets violence, and we have the impression of being caught up in a spiral of arrogance and inertia from which there is no escape. This evil which grips our will and conscience should challenge us.”
“Why, even at the cost of untold damage to persons, property and the environment,” he continued, “does man continue to pursue abuses of power, revenge and violence?”
Response to Evil
During this Jubilee Year, in which we are to fix our gaze more intensely on Christ, Francis reminded those present of Saint John Paul II’s words: “The limit imposed upon evil, of which man is both perpetrator and victim, is ultimately the Divine Mercy(Memory and Identity).”
“Yes,” Francis said, “the answer to the drama of evil lies in the mystery of Christ.”
Peace, in Our Hands
The Holy Father noted how the efforts of all committed to helping refugees and to safeguarding their dignity, is a reflection of God’s mercy and, as such, “a sign that evil has limits and does not have the last word.”
What our brothers and sisters in Syria and Iraq want today more than anything else–Francis stressed–is peace.
“And so I will never tire of asking the international community for greater and renewed efforts to achieve peace throughout the Middle East, and of asking not to look the other way.
The Holy Father pointed out that putting an end to the conflict is in the hands of men and women.
Appeal to Those With Political Responsibility
“Each of us can and must become a peacemaker, because every situation of violence and injustice is a wound to the body of the whole human family,”
“This request is my daily prayer to God, to inspire the minds and hearts of all who have political responsibility, that they may be able to renounce their own interests in order to achieve the greater good: peace.”
The Pope thanked and encouraged international organizations, in particular the United Nations, at the meeting, for their work of support and mediation among various governments.
He also noted that working toward an agreement to end conflict and help the defenseless must be traveled together with patience and perseverance, but also with urgency.
The Holy Father then entrusted the Christian communities of the Middle East who suffer and are afraid, and those helping them, to the intercession of Saint Teresa of Calcutta, “exemplar of charity and mercy.”
“May the Lord bless you and our Blessed Mother keep you,” the Pope concluded.
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