02/25/2014, 00.00
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Pope: war leaves children starving in refugee camps as lords of war who make and sell weapons throw parties

"Wars, hatred, enmity - he replied - can not be bought at the market: they are here in our hearts". "This spirit of war, which leads us away from God, is not only far from us" it is "also in our homes”. "How many families are destroyed because the father, the mother is unable to find the path of peace and prefer war".

Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - "Growing used" to the wars, conflicts, deaths of which we hear every day, thinking that the "fruit of war" are the hungry children in refugee camps, while those who manufacture or sell weapons of war throw lavish parties in society salons, and remembering that war originates in the heart, in the "passion" for worldly goods.

Pope Francis launched a strong condemnation of this "spirit of war, which leads us away from God " and that " it is not only far from us" but even "at home", in his homily during the Mass celebrated in Casa Santa Marta. As Vatican Radio reports the Pope took his cue from the First Reading of the day, the Letter of the Apostle James: "Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from?".  Commenting on the disputes between the disciples over who was the greatest among them, the Pope immediately pointed out that "distant hearts give rise to war"." "Every day, in newspapers, we find war - he noted - this place [the people] are divided in two, five dead" in another place more victims.

"These deaths seem to have become an almost daily tally. We are getting used to reading these things! And if we had the patience to list all of the wars going on in the world right now, it would be several pages long. It seems that the spirit of war has taken hold of us. Events are arranged to commemorate the centenary of the Great War, many millions of deaths ... Everyone is shocked! But today it is still the same! Instead of a great war, there are small wars everywhere, people divided... And to protect their own interests they murder and kill each other".

"Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from", the Pope repeated.  "The wars , hatred , enmity - he replied - can not be bought at the market: they are here in our hearts". The Pope remembered that as children, when they were being taught "the story of Cain and Abel, all of us were shocked", we could not believe that someone would kill his brother. Today, however, "millions of brothers kill each other. But we're used to it".  We all express our shock and scandal at the First World War, he continued "but this great war being waged all around, somewhat out of sight, does not scandalize us in any way! And many die over a piece of land, an ambition, hatred, a racial jealousy". "Passion - he added - leads us to the war, this spirit of worldliness.

"Quite often when faced with a situation of war we find ourselves in a curious position: in order to resolve it we push ahead, arguing. The language of war. It is not the first language of peace! And the consequences? Think of the starving children in the refugee camps ... Just think about that: that is the result of the war! And if you think the great salons, the parties thrown by the masters of the arms industries, those who manufacture weapons, weapons that end up there. And the child who is sick, hungry, in a refugee camp and these huge parties, the good life lead by those who manufacture weapons".

"What happens in our hearts? " He repeated. The Pope said the Apostle James gives us a simple tip: "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you". In other words, he warned that "this spirit of war, which leads us away from God , is not only far from us" is "even in our homes".

"How many families have been destroyed because the father [and] the mother are unable to find the path of peace and prefer war, to involve lawyers... War destroys! Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from? Maybe from your passions? They are in our heart! I propose today to pray for peace, for the peace that only seems to have become just a word, nothing more. [We pray] that this word becomes action, that we can follow the advice of the Apostle James: 'Recognize your misery'".

That misery, he continued, from which wars come: "The wars in families, the wars in communities, the wars [that are] everywhere". "Who among us cry - he asked again - when reading a newspaper when seeing those images on TV ? So many dead".  And again quoting the Apostle: "Your laughter will change into mourning and your joy to gloom ... ". This said the Pope, "is what you must do today February 25", a "Christian confronted by so many wars, everywhere", "lament, mourn, weep, be humble". "May the Lord - concluded Pope Francis - make us understand this and save us from becoming used to news of war".



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