Notable quotations from Pope John Paul II and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
Peace is always possible! It is always necessary to cooperate in order to uproot from culture and life the seeds of resentment and misunderstanding, as well as the desire to dominate, the arrogance of one's own interests and contempt for the identity of others.
Conflict is never inevitable! And religions have the special task of reminding all men and women to be aware of this fact, which is both a gift of God and the experience of many centuries of history.
It is what I have called the "spirit of Assisi". Our world needs the vivifying convictions and behavior that this spirit gives to consolidate peace, strengthen the international institutions and foster reconciliation.
The "spirit of Assisi" encourages religions to make their contribution to the new humanism that the contemporary world so badly needs.
The world needs peace. Every day in the news there are reports of violence, terrorist attacks, military operations. Could it be that the world is giving up all hope of achieving peace? At times one gets the impression there is a gradual inurement to the use of violence and the spilling of innocent blood.
Before these disturbing facts, I bend thoughtfully over the Scriptures; in them I find Jesus' comforting words: "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid" (Jn 14:27). These words kindle hope in us Christians who believe in Him, "for He is our peace" (Eph 2:14).
I ... ask you not to give in to the logic of violence, hatred and revenge, but rather to persevere in dialogue.
We must break the deadly chain that holds captive too many parts of our planet, staining them with blood. Believers of all religions can do much to achieve this goal.
We must not let ourselves be overcome by fear that leads to withdrawal into self and to strengthening the selfishness of individuals and groups. Courage is needed to globalize solidarity and peace.
War must always be considered a defeat: a defeat of reason and of humanity.
(Source: Message to Meeting of "Peoples and Religions", dated September 3, 2004)
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