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“WE OF SANT’EGIDIO HAVE NOT CHANGED OUR MINDS. THERE WILL NEVER BE PEACE WITH WEAPONS.” REPUBBLICA INTERVIEWS MARCO IMPAGLIAZZO

April 17 2018

PeaceMarco ImpagliazzoSyria

Marco Impagliazzo: “We of Sant’Egidio have not changed our minds. There will never be peace with weapons.”

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"The use of weapons is always unreasonable. When Saint Egidio was born 50 years ago, the slogan was 'putting flowers in the cannons.' At that time, some began to argue for the permissibility of using weapons, and, today, there are even people who say that to achieve peace we need so many weapons. For us, these were and still remain meaningless speeches, ours is a 'no' to weapons without ifs and buts."

Marco Impagliazzo, who is a historian and president of the Community of Sant'Egidio, led a delegation on a pilgrimage to the Fosse Ardeatine on Saturday. A retreat was made as new winds of war blew in Syria. Those who attacked Assad say the dictator used chemical weapons. What do you think?

"It is unreasonable both the idea of U.S. raids and what Assad is accomplishing. We are facing an opaque situation in which it is difficult to discern who is right and who is wrong. Nevertheless, the use of weapons puts everyone on the wrong side. On Saturday we went on retreat to a place where the bitter fruits of war are evident."

During the Angelus, Francis appealed to all political leaders to make justice and peace prevail.

"Along with him, we are against the culture of death. Francis points out the unreasonableness of the arms race, which is folly for the world. He even condemns the escalation of the use of weapons by emphasizing the importance of negotiating, which is the only way out."

You launched the "Save Aleppo" campaign a year after the outbreak of the Syrian war. What happened to it?

"We wanted to try and save the country by starting with the rescue of the city that symbolizes dialogue and culture. Our appeal went unheeded. Thus, we pledged to protect refugees without refugee status in camps that are located in Lebanon. We saved many of them from the human traffickers thanks to the humanitarian corridors."


Paolo Rodari - La Repubblica 04.15.2018 translated by editorial staff