12/18/2018, 12.30
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Pope: May politics truly become an instrument of peace

Francis message for the 52nd World Day of Peace. In “a climate of mistrust rooted in the fear of others or of strangers, or anxiety about one’s personal security ", "our societies need “artisans of peace” who can be messengers and authentic witnesses of God the Father, who wills the good and the happiness of the human family ".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Good politics is at the service of peace" when it respects and promotes fundamental human rights, which are equally reciprocal duties, when it encourages young people, when it expresses itself in recognizing the charisms and abilities of each person and worries about the "common home", Creation. It is not when it protects the personal interests of one group, when it does not respect the law, when it justifies power with the reason of state, when it allows corruption and the unlimited exploitation of the Earth, when it promotes xenophobia and racism, when it despises those who are forced into exile .

The message of Pope Francis for the 52nd World Day of Peace, which will be celebrated on January 1, 2019, published today, is entitled "Good politics is at the service of peace".

The document begins with the consideration that "Politics is an essential means of building human community and institutions, but when political life is not seen as a form of service to society as a whole, it can become a means of oppression, marginalization and even destruction".

"Political office and political responsibility thus constantly challenge those called to the service of their country to make every effort to protect those who live there and to create the conditions for a worthy and just future. If exercised with basic respect for the life, freedom and dignity of persons, political life can indeed become an outstanding form of charity." And contributing to the building of the "universal city of God" is "is a programme on which all politicians, whatever their culture or religion, can agree, if they wish to work together for the good of the human family and to practise those human virtues that sustain all sound political activity: justice, equality, mutual respect, sincerity, honesty, fidelity."

"In this regard the "Beatitudes of the Politician ", proposed by the Vietnamese Cardinal François-Xavier Nguyễn Vãn Thuận, who died in 2002, who was a faithful witness of the Gospel, deserve to be remembered:

"Blessed be the politician with a lofty sense and deep understanding of his role. Blessed be the politician who personally exemplifies credibility. Blessed be the politician who works for the common good and not his or her own interest. Blessed be the politician who remains consistent. Blessed be the politician who works for unity. Blessed be the politician who works to accomplish radical change. Blessed be the politician who is capable of listening. Blessed be the politician who is without fear"(No. 3).

"Everyone can make their own stone for the construction of the common home". in our own times, marked by a climate of mistrust rooted in the fear of others or of strangers, or anxiety about one’s personal security. Sadly, it is also seen at the political level, in attitudes of rejection or forms of nationalism that call into question the fraternity of which our globalized world has such great need. Today more than ever, our societies need “artisans of peace” who can be messengers and authentic witnesses of God the Father, who wills the good and the happiness of the human family."

Recalling the First World War that a hundred years ago tore the world apart, Pope Francis writes, "this is why we state once more that an escalation of intimidation, and the uncontrolled proliferation of arms, is contrary to morality and the search for true peace. Terror exerted over those who are most vulnerable contributes to the exile of entire populations who seek a place of peace. Political addresses that tend to blame every evil on migrants and to deprive the poor of hope are unacceptable. Rather, there is a need to reaffirm that peace is based on respect for each person, whatever his or her background, on respect for the law and the common good, on respect for the environment entrusted to our care and for the richness of the moral tradition inherited from past generations."

The Pope recalled another anniversary marked this year, that of the 70 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which ", is the fruit of a great political project grounded in the mutual responsibility and interdependence of human beings. But it is also a challenge that demands to be taken up ever anew. It entails a conversion of heart and soul; it is both interior and communal; and it has three inseparable aspects:

- peace with oneself, rejecting inflexibility, anger and impatience; in the words of Saint Francis de Sales, showing “a bit of sweetness towards oneself” in order to offer “a bit of sweetness to others”;

- peace with others: family members, friends, strangers, the poor and the suffering, being unafraid to encounter them and listen to what they have to say;

- peace with all creation, rediscovering the grandeur of God’s gift and our individual and shared responsibility as inhabitants of this world, citizens and builders of the future”.

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