Violence, said Pope Francis, leads to forced migrations and enormous suffering , devastation of the environment, terrorism and organized crime. It leads to retaliation and a deadly cycle that end up benefiting only a few warlords. But, Pope Francis said, Christ's message offers a radically positive approach. He himself walked the path of nonviolence and became an instrument of reconciliation.
And citing historical figures like Mother Teresa, Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King as models of nonviolent peacemakers, the Pope said nonviolence is more powerful than violence and it has produced impressive results.
He recalled the contribution of Christian communities in the fall of Communist regimes pointing out that peaceful political transitions were made using only the weapons of truth and justice. And he remarked that such efforts are not the legacy of the Catholic Church alone but are typical of many religious traditions. "I emphatically reaffirm, he said , that no religion is terrorist (...); and that the name of God cannot be used to justify violence". Emphasizing also the domestic roots of a politics of nonviolence Pope Francis said that while he pleads for disarmament and the prohibition and abolition of nuclear weapons, with equal urgency he pleads for an end to domestic violence and to the abuse of women and children.
My invitation to political, religious and economic leaders the Pope said, is to take up the challenge of building up society, communities and businesses by acting as peacemakers, to choose solidarity as a way of making history. In a world in which everything is connected, he said, active nonviolence is a way of showing that unity is more powerful and more fruitful than conflict, and that differences can be faced constructively and non-violently preserving "what is valid and useful on both sides". "All of us want peace, Francis concluded: "in 2017, may we dedicate ourselves prayerfully and actively to banishing violence from our hearts, words and deeds: (...) Everyone can be an artisan of peace". [www.comboni.org]
My eyes have seen the salvation
Dear confreres in Christ,
Receive a fraternal embrace on the occasion of the celebration of the mystery of the Incarnation of Our Lord.
Christmas offers us a favourable time to contemplate God in the fragility and in the hope that a new world is possible. We are called to discover the signs of God's presence in a world marred by the senseless violence that destroys humanity and renders the future uncertain. In this past year we have been following with concern the situation in Syria and in some countries where we are present, like South Sudan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Mozambique, Mexico, Colombia ... The presence of our confreres in these situations is a sign that we are convinced that God is also there, however limited our missionary activity may be. Christmas is also an opportunity to give fresh energy to our fraternal life, learning to look at one another with the eyes of the Father, walking as a family where we know how to forgive and accept ourselves as we are.
The migratory phenomena have reached exceptional proportions because of wars and deep levels of economic inequality. Millions of people are forced to leave the security of their homes in search of a more decent life. Our Institute is committing itself more and more with this reality to be a sign of God's presence Who recreates life and opens the heart to solidarity in a society more and more closed in on itself.
The much awaited 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) officially commenced yesterday with a Mass attended by thousands of Roman Catholic faithful at the Plaza Independencia, Cebu, Philippines. The Papal Legate Cardinal Maung Bo said Filipinos are a great “mission” being the biggest Catholic Community in Asia. In his homily during the opening Mass, he said the country has helped in promoting growth of Catholicism in Asia.
On Saturday 24th October a farewell for Father Jeremias was held at the Provincial House in Kensington. It took the form of a mid-morning Mass followed by lunch. People who had been closely associated with Father Jeremias were invited, totalling about 50 in all, including of course those Combonis who could make it.
The Chapter delegates have concluded the preparatory week and are ready to begin the XVIII General Chapter, opening with a Solemn Eucharist on Sunday, September 6.