Wednesday, September 17, 2014

War is madness

THUS spoke Pope Francis.  And right, indeed, he is, for "whereas God carries forward the work of creation, and we men and women are called to participate in the his work, war destroys.  It also ruins the most beautiful work of his hands:  human beings.  War ruins everything, even bonds between brothers.  War is irrational; its only plan is to bring destruction: it seeks to grow by destroying."

The Holy Father said this on September 13, in his homily at the Italian Military Memorial of Redipuglia, which was the site of the senseless fighting between Italy and the forces of the Central Powers during World War I, which was waged from 1914 to 1918.   "There are tears, there is sadness.  From this place we remember all the victims of every war."
Few days earlier, on September 7, 2014, at the International Meeting of People and Religions, which was organized by the Rome-based lay Community of Sant'Egidio, the Pope already said this in his statement to more than 300 leaders, gathered in the diocese of Antwerp, Belgium:  that war is just "senseless slaughter" and should never be seen as inevitable or a done deal because there is always a better way--"the way of dialogue, encounter and the sincere search for truth."
Centuries of experience has proven that war has never been a satisfactory means of redressing injustice and achieving balance solutions to political and social discord, instead it "drags people into a spiral of violence which then proves difficult to control; it tears down what generations have labored to build up, and it sets the scene for even greater injustices and conflicts." 
One of the participants of this global summit, Ali Abtahi Sayyed Mohammad, a former vice president of Iran and current president of Iran's Institute of Interreligious Dialogue, said:  "Radicalism is the product of an alliance between tyrants and ignorant followers."  All conflicts based on presumably religious agenda have shown that political leaders are the ones fomenting the violence, trying to convince "the devout that they are the only authentic religious group in the world and that the other religions are deviant and false."  This may be the new face of contemporary conflicts, which the West prefers to call terrorism.  And this maybe a tipping point to another global discord.
Pope Francis cites "greed, intolerance, the lust for power" as the underlying motives for going to war.  And they are justified by an ideology that are either political or radically religious or both in order to sugar-coat the worst evil in humanity.

War is madness, says Pope Francis.  And today "humanity needs to weep, and this is the time to weep."

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