12/17/2020, 13.08
Send to a friend

Pope: peace is built by educating to respect and care for the needy and creation

Francis' message for the World Day of Peace. A call for universal access to the Covid vaccine. From Christianity the concepts of person and common good. The social doctrine of the Church "a precious heritage of principles, criteria and indications, from which to draw the 'grammar' of care".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - In this time marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, perennial conflicts and a climate crisis, "the rudder of the dignity of the human person and the 'compass' of fundamental social principles can allow us together to navigate a sure route by practicing and promoting a “culture of care.” This is what Pope Francis says in the message for the 54th World Day of Peace, published today, but celebrated at the beginning of next year.

Francis opens his document with thanks to those who are working against the pandemic - " physicians and nurses, pharmacists, researchers, volunteers, chaplains and the personnel of hospitals and healthcare centres" - and launches an appeal “to spare no effort to ensure access to Covid-19 vaccines and to the essential technologies needed to care for the sick, the poor and those who are most vulnerable”.

He goes on to note "Sad to say, alongside all these testimonies of love and solidarity, we have also seen a surge in various forms of nationalism, racism and xenophobia, and wars and conflicts that bring only death and destruction in their wake.".

Already the Bible and even more the work of Jesus affirm then " the inviolable dignity of the person created in God’s image and likeness " and manifest "God’s plan to preserve the harmony of his creation".

The experience of the Christians of the first generation who "shared what they had, so that no one among them would be in need" gave rise, over time, to the social doctrine of the Church which " offered to all people of good will as a precious patrimony of principles, criteria and proposals that can serve as a “grammar” of care: commitment to promoting the dignity of each human person, solidarity with the poor and vulnerable, the pursuit of the common good and concern for protection of creation.”

It is in this context that the concept of person was born - a concept that " always signifies relationship, not individualism; it affirms inclusion, not exclusion, unique and inviolable dignity, not exploitation " - and the equal dignity of all men, the foundation of human rights. “as do human duties, like the responsibility to welcome and assist the poor, the sick, the excluded, every one of our “neighbours, near or far in space and time ".

It is the basis of the concept of the common good, that is, of the " the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfilment more fully and more easily". Therefore, "our plans and projects should always take into account their effects on the entire human family, and consider their consequences for the present and for coming generations." Hence and bearing in mind that " Peace, justice and care for creation are three inherently connected questions, which cannot be separated in such a way as to be treated individually ", Francis asks governments and international institutions " to take up these principles as a “compass” capable of pointing out a common direction and ensuring “a more humane future” in the process of globalization.” “And this can only come about through a widespread and meaningful involvement on the part of women, in the family and in every social, political and institutional sphere”.

The message reiterates that the promotion of the culture of care requires an educational process "and this compass” of social principles can prove useful and reliable in a variety of interrelated contexts." It begins with families, which "need to be empowered to carry out this vital and indispensable task" and, "always in collaboration with the family", by other subjects in charge of education, and "similarly, in certain respects, the subjects of social communication ". “They are called to convey a system of values ​​based on the recognition of the dignity of every person, of every linguistic, ethnic and religious community, of every people and of the fundamental rights that derive from it”.

"Education is one of the pillars of a more just and fraternal society" and " Religions in general, and religious leaders in particular, can play an indispensable role in handing on to their followers, and to society at large, the values of solidarity, respect for differences, and concern for our brothers and sisters in need."

The Pope has words of encouragement to " all those engaged in public service and in international organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, and all those others who in various ways are involved in the areas of education and research, to work towards the goal of a “more open and inclusive education, involving patient listening, constructive dialogue and better mutual understanding”.[24] It is my hope that this appeal, made in the context of the Global Compact on Education, will be broadly acknowledged and accepted."

"The culture of care thus calls for a common, supportive and inclusive commitment to protecting and promoting the dignity and good of all, a willingness to show care and compassion, to work for reconciliation and healing, and to advance mutual respect and acceptance. As such, it represents a privileged path to peace. “In many parts of the world, there is a need for paths of peace to heal open wounds. There is also a need for peacemakers, men and women prepared to work boldly and creatively to initiate processes of healing and renewed encounter.” (FP)

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Church leads the way in helping Vietnam cope with its educational emergency
11/03/2016 17:00
New, asymptomatic bird flu cases
First case of health care workers contracting new SARS from patients in Saudi hospital
Synod for the Amazon: Card Stella hails the ‘great beauty’ of celibacy in a priest’s life
24/10/2019 17:56
Respect for nature starts with respect for man and all his rights, says Pope


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”