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Cultivate peace by promoting nonviolence, Pope tells ambassadors

December 15, 2016

Pope Francis received six new ambassadors on December 15 and called upon them to cultivate nonviolence, the theme of his recent message for the World Day of Peace.

“Nonviolence is a typical example of a universal value that finds fulfillment in the Gospel of Christ but is also a part of other noble and ancient spiritual traditions,” the Pope told the ambassadors from Burundi, Fiji, Mauritius, Moldova, Sweden, and Tunisia.

“In a world like our own, sadly marked by wars and numerous conflicts, to say nothing of widespread violence evident in various ways in day-to-day life, the choice of nonviolence as a style of life is increasingly demanded in the exercise of responsibility at every level, from family education, to social and civil commitment, to political activity and international relations,” he continued.

Nonviolence, the Pope said, is “not the same as weakness or passivity; rather it presupposes firmness, courage and the ability to face issues and conflicts with intellectual honesty, truly seeking the common good over and above all partisan interest, be it ideological, economic or political.”

He added:

In the course of the past century, marred by wars and genocides of unheard-of proportions, we have nonetheless seen outstanding examples of how nonviolence, embraced with conviction and practiced consistently, can yield significant results, also on the social and political plane …

This is the path to pursue now and in the future. This is the way of peace. Not a peace proclaimed by words but in fact denied by pursuing strategies of domination, backed up by scandalous outlays for arms, while so many people lack the very necessities of life.

 
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