Pope Francis has issued his first message for the World Day of Peace.
Entitled, “Fraternity, the Foundation and Pathway to Peace.” the pope listed war, globalization, threats to religious freedom, human trafficking, economic disparity and abuses of the financial system as examples of fraternity breaking down and leading to violence against people. He said that, “effective policies are needed to promote the principle of fraternity, … so that every person has the opportunity to express and realise his or her life project and can develop fully as a person.” He reminds us that we are all brothers and sisters: “In the heart of every man and woman is the desire for a full life, including that irrepressible longing for fraternity which draws us to fellowship with others and enables us to see them not as enemies or rivals, but as brothers and sisters to be accepted and embraced.”
The message challenges all of us to examine our way of living in this world. He tells us, “another form of promoting fraternity – and thus defeating poverty – which must be at the basis of all the others is the detachment of those who choose to live a sober and essential lifestyle, of those who, by sharing their own wealth, thus manage to experience fraternal communion with others. This is fundamental for following Jesus Christ and being truly Christian.”
The complete text of the message for peace can be found at the Vatican website.