Archbishop of Lahore: No to nuclear weapons, we choose peace between India and Pakistan

Abp. Sebastian Shaw made all the country's bells ring for peace. Both India and Pakistan possess the atomic bomb. For years they have threatened to drop it on the neighbor to definitively resolve the dispute over Kashmir.


Lahore (AsiaNews / Agencies) - "Atomic weapons will never be needed or used if world leaders remain firm in their commitment to build global peace" stated Abp. Sebastian Shaw of Lahore, last week, during the ceremony commemorating the historic meeting between St. Francis of Assisi and the Sultan of Egypt, 800 years ago.

The Archbishop intervened with an appeal for peace in a delicate moment for the history of India and Pakistan, opposed to the question of Kashmir. Abp Shaw recalled that both countries have the atomic bomb. For this he urged Prime Ministers Narendra Modi (India) and Imran Khan (Pakistan) to "choose the path of dialogue to establish peace and save humanity".

The ceremony was held in the church of St. Mary. The event was organized by Fr. Francis Nadeem, guardian of Mariam Saddeeqa, custody of the Capuchin Friars Minor of Pakistan. He stressed: "Today we celebrate the 800th anniversary of the meeting between St. Francis of Assisi and the Sultan of Egypt Al-Kamil. We promise to become means of peace in our society, just as these two great men of history have shown us the way of dialogue ".

The historic meeting between the Catholic and the Muslim leader inspired another great "embrace": the one that took place last February in Abu Dhabi between Pope Francis, head of the universal Church, and the Great Imam of Al-Azhar, followed by the signing of " Document on human Fraternity".

The experience of this global brotherhood also refers to Msgr. Shaw in the sound of the "peace bell", "in a gesture of unity and solidarity with the international community of Europe", where peace bells resounded on 4 October last. On that example, the bishop asked for the church bells of Pakistan to resound too, to "pray for peace".

Before entering the church and celebrating Mass, all the priests, laity and faithful present lit candles of peace, as a sign of renewal of their commitment to build a harmonious society. Father Clarence Hayat, of the Capuchin Friars, reiterated "the spirituality of dialogue" in the light of the historic meeting between the two religious leaders. "Dialogue - he said - is possible because it has the power to build peace".