04/10/2024, 13.56
Send to a friend

Pope at audience: 'War is everywhere. Do not forget Myanmar'

A call for peace from St Peter's Square, and reminder of teh ongoing Asian conflict, along with Palestine, Israel and the 'tormented Ukraine'. During his catechesis on the virtue of fortitude, Francis said that it leads one to say no to the 'wickedness' of the world, such as wars and violence. "A Christian without courage is a useless Christian," he added. 

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Pope Francis never ceases to recall the "tortured Ukraine" and all the conflicts that are spreading throughout the world. Even today, at the general audience on Wednesday, he asked "that the Lord give us peace".

On a windy Roman day, from the center of the churchyard of St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father also addressed a thought "to Palestine and Israel", during the greetings addressed to the Italian-speaking pilgrims.

“War is everywhere” is the sad observation that he shared with the faithful gathered for the occasion. Immediately asking that we remember Myanmar, an often forgotten country, still the scene of violence and instability three years after the military coup.

“Let us not forget these brothers and sisters of ours who suffer so much in these war zones. Let us pray together and always for peace", added the Pontiff.

During the catechesis read at the opening of the audience, which continued the cycle of in-depth studies dedicated to the theme "Vices and virtues", the reflection was focused on the third of the cardinal virtues, fortitude (reference reading, recited this morning in the various languages : Ps 31,2.4.25).

This virtue is fundamental, said Bergoglio, "because it takes seriously the challenge of evil in the world." And the latter is under the eyes of all the people of the world. These are the "atrocities of which we are partly victims and partly protagonists: wars, violence, slavery, oppression of the poor, never-healed wounds that still bleed".

In fact, to find them it is sufficient "to leaf through a history book, or unfortunately even the newspapers", he stated.

The presence of these wounds is evident in everyday life: the news coming from war zones, and beyond, is full of them. Here the fortress "makes us react and shout a firm no to all this", explained Pope Francis. Speaking immediately of the "comfortable West, which has watered down everything a bit"; “He doesn't need to fight because everything appears the same to him,” he added.

Living in the Western world there is the risk of settling down, losing sight of the "path that makes us progress in life". To avoid this there is an urgent need for "uncomfortable and visionary people", who are very rare, but necessary to "resolutely repeat our no to evil and to everything that leads to indifference", reiterated the bishop of Rome .

During the greetings dedicated to Italian-speaking pilgrims, Francis welcomed in a particular way "the priests, the seminarians, the faithful of Sardinia, gathered here for the ad limina visit of their bishops", he said.

Also underlining the presence at the audience of the "Pallotine religious and the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who I entrust to the intercession of their respective founders, San Vincenzo Pallotti, and the Blessed Clelia Merloni".

The Pope then turned his thoughts "to the young people, the sick, the elderly, the newlyweds; I hope that the consoling light of the Easter announcement grows in your hearts", he continued, making the echo of Holy Easter still resonate, celebrated two weeks ago. A light "that invites us to strengthen faith and hope in the crucified and risen Jesus".

Fortitude is "the most combative of virtues", said the Holy Father at the beginning of the catechesis. “A Christian without courage, who does not bend his strength to good, who does not bother anyone, is a useless Christian,” he stated.

Since the human being experiences passions "that must be educated, must be directed, must be purified with the water of Baptism, or rather with the fire of the Holy Spirit". Jesus first “had passion”, he continued. Explaining that since ancient times the virtue examined today has been recognized as having "a double trend, one passive, the other active".

The first is aimed at the inner world of people; in fact, fortitude helps to overcome all "internal enemies", which "go by the name of anxiety, anguish, fear, guilt". The second trend concerns "external enemies", or "the trials of life, persecutions, difficulties". Fortitude, in fact, "makes us resistant sailors, who do not get scared and do not get discouraged".

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Without humility there is war, discord, division, says Pope at general audience
22/05/2024 15:29
Pope prays for Afghanistan, urges the international community to provide aid
15/05/2024 16:40
Pope calls for two states, Palestine and Israel, ‘free and with good relations’
24/04/2024 15:53
Pope: the world must accelerate initiatives for those without water
22/03/2023 13:04
Pope on Ukraine: 'Has everything possible been done to stop the war?'
22/02/2023 14:10


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”