‘We are dealing with a homicidal madness which misuses God’s name in order to disseminate death, in a play for domination and power.’
Pope Francis stressed this when addressing the diplomatic corps of all ambassadors accredited to the Holy See this morning in the Apostolic Palace, during the annual tradition of exchanging greetings and addressing them.
Acknowledging the suffering that is plaguing the world, he said: “I appeal to all religious authorities to join in reaffirming unequivocally that one can never kill in God’s name.”
“Fundamentalist terrorism is the fruit of a profound spiritual poverty, and often is linked to significant social poverty,” he continued.
Only with the joint contribution of religious and political leaders, Francis said, can it be fully defeated.
Moreover, the Pontiff touched on a variety of other issues, but said he devoted today’s meeting to the themes of security and peace.
“In today’s climate of general apprehension for the present, and uncertainty and anxious concern for the future, I feel it is important to speak a word of hope, which can also indicate a path on which to embark.”
Political authorities, Francis underscored, “must not limit themselves to ensuring the security of their own citizens – a concept which could easily be reduced to a mere “quiet life” – but are called also to work actively for the growth of peace.”
This also means, Francis highlighted, “working for the elimination of the deplorable arms trade and the never-ending race to create and spread ever more sophisticated weaponry.” Particularly disturbing, he said, are the experiments being conducted on the Korean Peninsula, “which destabilize the entire region and raise troubling questions for the entire international community about the risk of a new nuclear arms race.”
He went on to quote his predecessor Saint Pope John XXIII’s words in Pacem in Terris: “Justice, right reason and the recognition of human dignity cry out insistently for a cessation to the arms race. The stockpiles of armaments which have been built up in various countries must be reduced all round by the parties concerned. Nuclear weapons must be banned”.
Moreover, Francis spoke on their responsibility to young people, stressing, “Children and young people are the future; it is for them that we work and build. They cannot be selfishly overlooked or forgotten.”