ROME, Nov 07 (IPS) – Arms are raised, stretched out in direction of the sky, holding white playing cards with the phrase “peace” written in numerous languages. A woman, a refugee from Syria, reads the Rome’s “Enchantment for peace”: “With agency conviction, we are saying: no extra conflict! Let’s cease all conflicts […] Let dialogue be resumed to nullify the specter of nuclear weapons.” Pope Francis singed it in entrance of the individuals gathered on the Colosseum, holding the phrase “peace” of their fingers, as representatives of the world’s religions did as effectively. Shortly earlier than, members of these completely different religions gathered for prayer to invoke peace of their completely different traditions—a prayer that’s “a cry” inside the traditional amphitheater.
“This yr our prayer has grow to be a heartfelt plea, as a result of at this time peace has been gravely violated, assaulted and trampled upon, and this in Europe, on the very continent that within the final century endured the horrors of the 2 world wars – and we’re experiencing a 3rd. Sadly, since then, wars have continued to trigger bloodshed and to impoverish the earth. But the scenario that we’re presently experiencing is especially dramatic…”, the Pontiff warned. “We aren’t impartial, however allied for peace, and for that cause we invoke the ius pacis as the correct of all to settle conflicts with out violence,” he added.
The identical “raised fingers” marched for peace on Saturday in Rome when round 100.000 individuals from completely different organizations known as for a ceasefire in Ukraine and in all the opposite armed conflicts.
The prayer with the Pope was the final act of a three-day interreligious dialogue, held on the finish of October within the Italian capital and launched by the presidents of the French and Italian republics, Emmanuel Macron and Sergio Mattarella. The primary convocation was in Assisi, in 1986, willed by John Paul II. Since then, it has been promoted by the Neighborhood of Sant’Egidio, a Christian neighborhood whose fundamentals are prayer, serving the poor and marginalized, and peace. For the function it has performed in mediating conflicts, it has been named the “UN of Trastevere” after the town heart neighborhood the place it’s headquartered and the place the peace settlement in Mozambique was signed thirty years in the past.
Leaders and believers of assorted religions and secular humanists have woven relationships, prayed, and confronted one another. They hand over a map drawn by many voices, too many to account for within the area of an article. “The cry for peace” assembly can be an invite to “do”. It affords a map of concrete steps, issues carried out and to do, greatest practices, creativeness, with a key phrase: dialogue. “And dialogue doesn’t make all causes equal in any respect, it doesn’t keep away from the query of duty and by no means errors the aggressor with the attacked. Certainly, exactly as a result of it is aware of them effectively, it will possibly search for methods to cease the geometric and implacable logic of conflict, which is if different answer aren’t discovered”, defined Cardinal Matteo Maria Zuppi, president of the Italian Episcopal Convention.
World eventualities are made much more worrying by the danger of nuclear escalation within the Ukrainian conflict—a conflict on the doorstep of that a part of Europe that has cultivated peace inside, however that has let armed battle flourish elsewhere. “The shortage of this dedication let the conflict attain its borders, certainly—in some methods—penetrate inside it, even in its deepest fibers,” mentioned Agostino Giovagnoli, historian of the Neighborhood of Sant’Egidio. “At the moment conflict threatens Europe additionally as a result of it threatens the choice creativeness which is on the foundation of the European structure. Battle, in actual fact, is banal: it doesn’t consist solely of a struggle on the bottom however it’s also a type of ‘single thought,’” he added.
This “single thought” has modified the European angle, in line with Nico Piro, particular correspondent and conflict journalist of the RAI, the Italian nationwide public broadcasting firm. “After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Europe as in Italy, a political monobloc in favor of has emerged from proper to left. It’s standing out what I named ‘PUB’ , a Bellicist-Single-Thought … initiatives a stigma on anybody who asks for peace, on anybody who has a doubt or raises a criticism of the concept fueling the conflict serves to finish it ,” he mentioned. “What has peace grow to be then? Now not a software to cease and stop armed conflicts however a by-product of conflict.”
But, among the many many voices that met in Rome, one phrase resounds, whispered after which mentioned: kairos. The “important second” is now. The conflict in Ukraine is the “wake-up name” that should be grasped, that can’t be missed, widening our view from Europe to these endless conflicts everywhere in the world. Among the many many classes from Sant’Egidio’s dialogue, two ought to be discovered to understand that kairos: working collectively every day to construct peace in each single life and returning to working collectively as a neighborhood of states, relaunching the multilateral message.
“Whoever saves a single life saves the entire world,” the Talmud says. Or “a complete world” as Riccardo di Segni, chief rabbi of Rome, prompt, since each human being has the potential to create “a brand new, distinctive world.” Thus, peace means recognizing the worth of every single life, in sharp distinction to the logic of conflict, by which “the lifetime of the enemy is not life. It isn’t the identical. conflict, dehumanizes everybody a priori within the identify of life,” in line with Mario Marazziti, member of the Sant’Egidio neighborhood. This additionally occurs right here, in Europe, the place these fleeing wars, starvation, and persecution are allowed to die at sea, “dehumanized,” lowered to numbers.
Distinctive are the lives to be saved, but in addition distinctive are the lives of those that save and of those that construct peace by “taking care.”
Gégoire Ahongbonon has a series in his hand. He places it round his neck and exhibits the heavy metallic rings to the viewers. There was a person chained with that very same metallic, bare, tied to a tree, like many others. His solely fault was a psychiatric dysfunction. Ahongbonon saved over 70,000 individuals, “sentenced to dying” as a result of they had been in poor health. He’s the founding father of the Affiliation Saint Camille de Lellis that works in 5 international locations of sub-Saharan Africa. He requested a tricky query: “Are we completely different from them? Are we completely different from this particular person, we? What did they do unsuitable? They had been born like all of us.”
Saving these lives is already making peace, eradicating the roots of violence and discrimination and planting these of peace, as Mjid Noorjehan Adbul is doing in Mozambique. She is the scientific head of the community of facilities for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, opened by Sant’Egidio’s DREAM program, a program of excellence working in 10 international locations. She, a Muslim, is stunned when individuals ask her why she works with Catholics: “All of us have the identical objective,” she replies. For twenty years, she has been working to make sure well being care for individuals who can’t afford it. In truth, she was the primary one to make use of antiretroviral remedy in her nation. “There isn’t any peace with out care,” she mentioned, quoting Pope Francis – “care” for eradicating “the tradition of waste, of indifference, of confrontation.” Ex-patients, like these “girls who’ve skilled the stigma firsthand and put themselves on the service of different in poor health individuals,” are actually serving to to construct a brand new well being tradition – she defined.
Saving lives, restoring hope, selecting the paths of dialogue, and designing an structure of peaceable coexistence must also be the intention of politics. The multilateral message, legacy of the 20 th century’s “unitary tensions,” nonetheless, wants new impetus.
“Those that work for peace are life like, not naive!” Cardinal Zuppi mentioned. Real looking because it was Pope Bendetto XV that known as for an finish to the “ineffective slaughter” that was the First World Battle. He had a really clear imaginative and prescient of the necessity for a multilateral structure, a league amongst nations that might assure lasting peace. A practical method to design the long run nonetheless appears to be the one constructed on a everlasting, international agorà that creates area for dialogue. “No multilateralism, no survival,” argued Jeffery Sachs, a speaker at one of many fourteen boards that formed the assembly agenda. Nevertheless, the United Nations – the group based on the ruins of the Second World Battle to make the “no extra conflict” actuality – dangers to be “delegitimized”. That’s one thing to be prevented, in line with Zuppi. “… We’re conscious that the United Nations is a neighborhood of countries. Its each failure represents a weakening of worldwide dedication and makes us all losers,” warned Shayk Muhammad bin Abdul Karim al Issa, common secretary of the Muslim World League.
At the moment, nonetheless, multilateralism must adapt: “We want a multilateralism that’s simply and inclusive, with equitable illustration and voice for growing international locations”, mentioned Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, Undersecretary for Africa within the Division of Political and Peacebuilding Affaris and Peace operations. “At coronary heart of is the necessity to have interaction earlier and proactively, and to not wait react to a disaster after it has escalated”, she added. A multilateralism that doesn’t act solely after a battle breaks out, however that is ready to forestall it and to construct peace additionally by supporting “the resilience of native communities”.
The Kairos, the correct second, is now even when there may be conflict in Ukraine and elsewhere as a result of peace should be constructed even when conflict is raging. “Find out how to dwell now?” marvel those that have seen the destruction and the ferocity of an armed battle, like Olga Makar, who took care of Sant’Egidio college of peace in Ukraine. “That is the query each Ukrainian asks him or herself. In these first days of conflict, after I felt my life was damaged, I discovered a solution: our homes are destroyed, our cities are in ruins, however our love, our solidarity, our capacity to assist others, our desires can’t be destroyed”.
Phrases that echo in these of Pope Francis: “Allow us to not be contaminated by the perverse rationale of conflict; allow us to not fall into the lure of hatred for the enemy. Allow us to as soon as extra put peace on the coronary heart of our imaginative and prescient for the long run, as the first objective of our private, social and political exercise at each degree. Allow us to defuse conflicts by the weapon of dialogue”.
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