A Word From Pope Francis
Today, dear brothers and sisters, I wish to make add my voice to the cry which rises up with increasing anguish from every part of the world, from every people, from the heart of each person, from the one great family which is humanity: it is the cry for peace! It is a cry which declares with force: we want a peaceful world, we want to be men and women of peace, and we want in our society, torn apart by divisions and conflict, that peace break out! War never again! Never again war! Peace is a precious gift, which must be promoted and protected.
I appeal strongly for peace, an appeal which arises from deep within me. How much suffering, how much devastation, how much pain has the use of arms carried in its wake in Syria, especially among civilians and the unarmed! I think of many children will not see the light of the future! With utmost firmness I condemn the use of chemical weapons: I tell you that those terrible images from recent days are burned into my mind and heart. There is a judgment of God and of history upon our actions which are inescapable! Never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake. War begets war, violence begets violence.
Pope Francis, Saint Peter’s Square (11/01/13)
CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING
- 6. “Benedict XVI likewise proposed “eliminating the structural causes of the dysfunctions of the world economy and correcting models of growth which have proved incapable of ensuring respect for the environment”
- 13. “The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change.”
- 52. “We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family. There are no frontiers or barriers, political or social, behind which we can hide, still less is there room for the globalization of indifference.”
- 175. ”The twenty-first century, while maintaining systems of governance inherited from the past, is witnessing a weakening of the power of nation states, chiefly because the economic and financial sectors, being transnational, tends to prevail over the political. Given this situation, it is essential to devise stronger and more efficiently organized international institutions, with functionaries who are appointed fairly by agreement among national governments, and empowered to impose sanctions. As Benedict XVI has affirmed in continuity with the social teaching of the Church: “To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago”.
Evangelium Gaudium. The Joy of the Gospel.
[Nor is peace] “simply the absence of warfare, based on a precarious balance of power; it is fashioned by efforts directed day after day towards the establishment of the ordered universe willed by God, with a more perfect justice among men”.179 In the end, a peace which is not the result of integral development will be doomed; it will always spawn new conflicts and various forms of violence.
World Day of Peace, Jan. 1, 2014 No. 7:
- “I make my own the appeal of my predecessors for the non-proliferation of arms and for disarmament of all parties, beginning with nuclear and chemical weapons disarmament. . . A conversion of hearts is needed which would permit everyone to recognize in the other a brother or sister to care for and to work together with, in building a fulfilling life for all.”
- No. 184 “This is not the time or the place to examine in detail the many grave social questions affecting today’s world, some of which I have dealt with in the second chapter. This Exhortation (The Joy of the Gospel) is not a social document and for reflection on those different themes we have a most suitable tool in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, whose use and study I heartily recommend.”
July, 2015, hundredth anniversary of World War I, Angelus St. Peter’s Square:
“Never war! Never war! I think most of all about children, whose hopes for a dignified life, a future, are dashed, dead children, wounded children, mutilated children, orphans, children who have the leftovers of war for toys, children who don’t know how to smile. Stop it, please! I beg you with all my heart! It’s time to stop!”
John XXIII, Peace on Earth 1963
No. 137 “Today the universal common good poses problems of world-wide dimensions which cannot be adequately tackled or solved except by the efforts of public authorities endowed with a breadth of powers, structure, and means of the same proportions: that is, of public authorities which are in a position to act in an effective manner on a world-wide basis. The moral order itself, therefore, demands that such a form of public authority be established.”
Vatican II, The Church in the Modern World 1965 No. 82.
“It is our clear duty, then, to strain every muscle as we work for the time when all war can be completely outlawed by international consent. This goal undoubtedly requires the establishment of some universal public authority acknowledged as such by all, and endowed with effective power to safeguard, on the behalf of all, security, regard for justice, and respect for rights.
Pope Paul VI, The Progress of Peoples 1967 No.78
“Who does not see the necessity of thus establishing progressively a world authority, capable of acting effectively in the juridical and political sectors?” United Nations: “The Pope spoke of the horrors of war and the absolute necessity of world peace. He pleaded, with deep emotion in his voice, ‘No more war! War never again!” (O’Malley, Vat. II p. 263)
John Paul II, World Day of Peace Message, 2005, No. 9
“Down the centuries, the teaching of the Church, drawing upon the philosophical and theological reflection of many Christian thinkers, has made a significant contribution in directing international law to the common good of the whole human family. Especially in more recent times the Popes have not hesitated to stress the importance of international law as a pledge of peace.” “War is the most barbarous and least effective way of resolving conflicts.” (Pope John Paul II quoted in Challenge of Peace 102) Again Pope John Paul II “Violence begets violence. . . war must always be considered a defeat: a defeat of reason and of humanity. May we soon make a spiritual and cultural leap forward to outlaw war! Yes, never again war!” (Sept. 8, 2004. Address to religious leaders of the world at Assisi, Italy.)
Pope Benedict XVI, Love in Truth No. 67 and footnotes.
“To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago. 2009
US Catholic Bishops, The Challenge of Peace, God’s Promise and our Response, No. 334 ff. 1983
“We feel that a more all-inclusive and final solution is needed. We speak here of the truly effective international authority for which Pope John XXIII ardently longed in Peace on Earth (No. 137) and of which Pope Paul VI spoke to the United Nations (1965), #2. The hope for such a structure is not unrealistic, because the point has been reached where public opinion sees clearly that, with the massive weaponry of the present, war is no longer viable. There is a substitute for war. There is negotiation under the supervision of a global body realistically fashioned to do its job. It must be given the equipment to keep constant surveillance on the entire earth. Present technology makes this possible. It must have the authority, freely conferred upon it by all the nations, to investigate what seems to be preparations for war by any one of them. It must be empowered by all the nations to enforce its commands on every nation. It must be so constituted as to pose no threat to any nation’s sovereignty. Obviously the creation of such a sophisticated instrumentality is a gigantic task, but is it hoping for too much to believe that the genius of humanity, aided by the grace and guidance of God, is able to accomplish it? To create it may take decades of unrelenting daily toll by the world’s best minds and most devoted hearts, but it shall never come into existence unless we make a beginning now. . Shall we shrink from the task because it is hard? . . We need to create an international task force for peace that will meet with one sole agenda: The creation of a world that will one day be safe from war. Freed from the bondage of war that holds us captive, the world will at last be able to address genuine human progress, more freedom, more food, more opportunity for each human person.”