change language
you are in: home - ecumenis...dialogue - internat...or peace - antwerp ...e future contact usnewsletterlink

Support the Community

  

Sant'Egidio at the UN Security Council to report on the situation in the Central African Republic

Mauro Garofalo: "The success of this beginning of disarmament is the credibility of the whole process"

A Conference remembering the 25 years from the signing of the peace in Mozambique: The Italian model that has given hope to Africa

A Peace made by mediators without vested interests and who believed that peace was always possible

Let us help Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

The Community of Sant'Egidio launches a fundraising campaign to send humanitarian aid to the refugee camps in Bangladesh, in collaboration with the local Church

Paths of Peace: textes, videos and news of the International Meeting of prayer for peace of Münster


 
printable version
September 7 2014 17:00 | Stadsschouwburg

Message of His Holiness Francis



Papa Francesco


To the Most Reverend Johan Jozef Bonny 
Bishop of Antwerp

I ask you kindly to convey my warm greetings and cordial good wishes to the representatives of Christian Churches and Ecclesial Communities and to the many leaders of the world religions assembled in Antwerp from 7-9 September 2014 for the International Peace Meeting. I thank the Diocese of Antwerp and the Community of Sant'Egidio for organizing this gathering in which men and women of different religious traditions come together on a pilgrimage of prayer and dialogue inspired by the "spirit of Assisi".

The theme of this year's Meeting — Peace is the Future — recalls the tragic outbreak of the First World War a hundred years ago, while evoking a future in which mutual respect, dialogue and cooperation will help to banish the grim spectre of armed conflict. In these days, when not a few peoples in our world need to be helped to find the way to peace, this anniversary can teach us that war is never a satisfactory means of redressing injustice and achieving balanced solutions to political and social discord. All war is ultimately, as Pope Benedict XV stated in 1917, a "senseless slaughter". War drags peoples into a spiral of violence which then proves difficult to control; it tears down what generations have laboured to build up and it sets the scene for even greater injustices and conflicts.

When we think of the countless conflicts and wars, declared and undeclared, which presently afflict our human family, blighting the lives of young and old alike, poisoning age-old relationships of coexistence between different ethnic and religious groups, and forcing families and entire communities into exile, it is evident that, together with men and women of good will everywhere, we cannot remain passive in the face of so much suffering, so many "senseless slaughters".

It is here that our various religious traditions can, in "the spirit of Assisi", make a specific contribution to peace. We can do this through the power of prayer. All of us have come to realize that prayer and dialogue are profoundly interrelated and mutually enriching. It is my hope that these days of prayer and dialogue will serve as a powerful reminder that the pursuit of peace and understanding through prayer can forge lasting bonds of unity and prevail over the passions of war. War is never a necessity, nor is it inevitable. Another way can always be found: the way of dialogue, encounter and the sincere search for truth.

The time has come for religious leaders to cooperate more effectively in the work of healing wounds, resolving conflicts and pursuing peace. Peace is the sure sign of a commitment to the cause of God. Religious leaders are called to be men and women of peace. They are capable of fostering the culture of encounter and peace, when other options fail or falter. We must be peacemakers, and our communities must be schools of respect and dialogue with those of other ethnic or religious groups, places where we learn to overcome tensions, foster just and peaceful relations between peoples and social groups, and build a better future for coming generations.

With these sentiments, I invoke upon all taking part in the Meeting and all who sustain them by the support of their prayers, the abundant blessings of the God of peace (cf. Rom 15:33).

From the Vatican, 26 August 2014
Francis

 

PROGRAMMA
PDF

LIVE STREAMING



RELATED NEWS
August 24 2015
ROME, ITALY

Major religions will meet in Tirana to launch a strong appeal: peace is always possible #peaceispossible


Thousands of people will be meeting in the Albanian capital from September 6 to 8 with religious leaders and experts from international development, environmental and social inequality organizations to launch concrete proposals to stop the conflicts
IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | UK
October 24 2011

The Spirit of Assisi: 25 Years of Prayer for Peace

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | CA | NL | RU
March 21 2011

Jos (Nigeria): a Conference on peace, the service to the poor and the intereligious dialogue

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | CA | NL
all related news

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS
November 6 2017 | NEW YORK, UNITED STATES

Sant'Egidio at the UN Security Council to report on the situation in the Central African Republic


Mauro Garofalo: "The success of this beginning of disarmament is the credibility of the whole process"
IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | CA | NL | RU
November 1 2017

Sounds For Peace Music Contest 2017 1st prize winner is: Nigeria Youth for Peace


Listen to the winning song and watch all the other winners
IT | EN | DE
October 28 2017 | BLANTYRE, MALAWI

From the abyss to the light after 10 years: the true story of an injustice redeemed through love in Malawi

IT | EN | ES

ASSOCIATED PRESS
November 8 2017
Avvenire
Centrafrica. Sant'Egidio: la pace «funziona»
October 30 2017
Notizie Italia News
Il tempo del dialogo, 500 anni dopo ...
October 15 2017
Herder Korrespondenz
Sant'Egidio: Auf der Suche nach der Gemeinsamkeit
October 13 2017
L'Azione
La pace è unità
October 5 2017
Avvenire
Il Mozambico rinato: quella pace che ha fatto storia
all press-related