As the world is ravaged by war, Pope Francis and religious leaders are adamantly calling for a universal ceasefire as part of the Community of Sant’Egidio’s prayer for peace to mark the conclusion of its 36th “Spirit.” of Assisi’ event at the Colosseum in Rome.
By Deborah Castellano Lubov
“With firm conviction we say: no more war! Let’s stop all conflicts.”
This was the appeal of Pope Francis and religious leaders at the closing ceremony of the annual ‘Spirit of Assisi’ prayer for peace on the afternoon of October 25 at the Colosseum, as well as the words he and the religious leaders collected a year ago. at the same place.
The three-day peace summit, held under the theme ‘Il Grido della Pace’ (The Call for Peace), was organized by the community of Sant’Egidio and welcomed presidents, religious leaders and several high-ranking authorities.
The Spirit of Assisi
This marks the 36th edition of the gatherings started in the wake of the historic World Day of Interfaith Prayer for Peace of October 27, 1986, with Pope John Paul II.
The representatives of the Christian churches and world religions began their appeal by addressing their concerns to the world and to the leaders of states.
“We are becoming the voice of those who suffer from war, of the refugees and of the families of all the victims and those who died.”
“With firm conviction we say: no more war! Let’s stop all conflict. War brings only death and destruction; it is a no return adventure in which we are all losers. Silence the guns; let a universal ceasefire be declared immediately.”
Invitation to Negotiations
The leaders also called for peace talks and dialogue.
“Let negotiations that can lead to just solutions for a stable and lasting peace be activated quickly before it is too late. Let the dialogue resume to nullify the threat of nuclear weapons.”
After the horrors and pains of World War II, the call continued, nations were able to mend the deep rifts of conflict and, through multilateral dialogue, establish the United Nations Organization.
It was the result of a pursuit of peace, which they believe is more necessary than ever today.
“We are at a crossroads,” the call emphasizes, emphasizing “we can either be the generation that lets the planet and humanity die, the one that collects and trades weapons, living in the illusion that we can save ourselves from others.” , or we can be the generation that creates new ways of living together, that doesn’t invest in weapons, that abolishes war as a means of resolving conflict, and stops the excessive exploitation of planetary resources.”
Abuse of the name of God
They stressed that believers should work for peace in every possible way, saying it is “our duty” to “help disarm hearts” and “call for reconciliation between peoples”.
“Unfortunately, even among ourselves we are sometimes divided by misusing the holy name of God: we ask forgiveness for this, with humility and shame. Religions are and should remain a great source of peace. Peace is sacred; war can never be sacred!”
Humanity must end wars, dismantle nuclear weapons
If mankind does not end wars, wars will end mankind, the call noted, adding that the world is not our property, but also of future generations.
“Therefore,” it stressed, “let’s rid it of the nuclear nightmare.”
“Let’s immediately reopen a serious dialogue on nuclear non-proliferation and the dismantling of nuclear weapons.”
“Let’s start again together from the dialogue, which is an effective medicine for the reconciliation of peoples. Let’s invest in every path of dialogue. Peace is always possible! Never war again! Never again one against the other!”