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Pope Francis decries 'financial wars' and calls on fraternity to build peace

2013-12-12

Fraternity was the main theme in Pope Francis' first papal message for the World Day of Peace, presented on Thursday at the Vatican. He said fostering brotherhood is the foundation for peace. But he denounced greed and selfishness as main factors that prevent it.  

VITTORIO ALBERTI
Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
"In a pastoral level, the Pope's message is an ongoing call to peace. Inner peace, because he always starts with the true pacification, which is the one of the actual person.”

The Pope said this fraternity, and the peace that comes with it, derives from the fact that all people are God's children, and therefore, brothers and sisters. As such, he called on people to look after each other.

In light of so many conflicts, he called on people to leave aside all weapons, and the use of violence against their brothers and sisters. Specifically, he called on nations to get rid of nuclear and chemical weapons.

VITTORIO ALBERTI
Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
"Let's not forget this message also goes out directly to governments, through diplomatic paths. So, as a head of state, because the Pope is a head of state. Bishop of Rome, yes, but also a head of state.”

In his seven-page message, Pope Francis also called on nations to seek fraternity in the economy. He asked people to leave aside the greedy pursuit of material riches. He said they lead to another type of war "fought in the economic and financial sectors with means which are equally destructive of lives, families and businesses.”

VITTORIO ALBERTI
Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
"The new thing within this document is the topic of organized crime. The Catholic Church, in all its complex, rallies against organized crime, to fight it.”

The Pope added that the selfishness of criminal groups "gravely offends God.” He recalled the suffering of their victims, from drug users, to exploited workers, and trafficking victims. 

The Church's main mission, he said, is to comfort those who suffer, and to speak out to in order to make leaders aware of their suffering, and to put an end to it. 


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