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Pope: Do you really think you’ll build a better world this way?

Pope Audience

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 03/03/24

Pope Francis' pleas for peace grow more urgent: "Enough, please! Let us all say: Stop, please! Stop!"

Pope Francis endlessly calls for world peace, for an end to the proliferation of arms, and for a recognition that “war is madness.”

Though he has asked the world countless times to choose dialogue over destruction, his pleas seem to grow more insistent.

After praying the midday Angelus on March 3, he spoke of the dire situation in Gaza, just days after more than 100 people were killed as they tried to get food from an aid convoy. The threat of famine is expanding in the strip.

The Holy Father said:

I carry daily in my heart, with pain, the suffering of the people in Palestine and Israel due to the ongoing hostilities. The thousands of dead, the wounded, the displaced, the immense destruction cause pain, and this with tremendous consequences on the little ones and the helpless, who see their future compromised.

The United States and Jordan air-dropped some 30,000 meals into Gaza by parachute from three military planes on Saturday. Water was not included in the drop.

A six-week cease fire plan is also supposedly ready to be accepted by Israel. Negotiations are set to continue today in Cairo, Egypt.

The Holy Father’s plea for peace was also be an appeal for common sense.

He said:

I wonder: Do you really think you are going to build a better world this way, do you really think you are going to achieve peace? Enough, please! Let us all say: Stop, please! Stop!

I encourage the continuation of negotiations for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza and throughout the region, so that hostages can be freed immediately and return to their anxiously awaiting loved ones, and the civilian population can have safe access to due and urgent humanitarian aid.

And please let us not forget the battered Ukraine, where so many are dying every day. There is so much pain there.

“Disarmament is a moral duty”

Pope Francis also noted that this week will be the 2nd International Disarmament and Nonproliferation Awareness Day, on March 5.

How many resources are wasted on military expenditures, which, because of the current situation, sadly continue to increase! I sincerely hope that the international community understands that disarmament is first and foremost a duty; disarmament is a moral duty. Let us put this in our heads.

The Pope has often noted that the government budgets spent on weapons could be used to eliminate world hunger.

But he said that a change of perspective is needed: “the courage on the part of all members of the great family of nations to move from the balance of fear to the balance of trust.”

The United Nations notes:

In 2021, global military spending reached $2.1 trillion

12,700 nuclear weapons remain an existential threat to humanity today. 

26,000 people can be treated for malaria for the price of 1 battle tank

A bit of good news

However a piece of good news in the effort for peace comes today from the Catholic lay Sant’Egidio Community.

The Pope offered an “affectionate greeting” to a group of “young Ukrainians whom the Community of Sant’Egidio has convened on the theme ‘Overcome evil with good. Prayer, the poor, peace.’

Dear young people, thank you for your commitment to those who suffer most from war. Thank you!

Holy LandPope FrancisWar
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