Pope Francis to the major superiors of religious congregations: "Peacemaking is a craft"
During the days of 23-25 November, the 98th Assembly of the Union of Superiors General took place in Rome on the theme Fratelli Tutti: called to be artisans of peace
During this meeting with other ecclesial realities, the Prior General of the Order of St. Augustine, Fr. Alejandro Moral, participated in the meetings in which the main challenges that the religious congregations face in matters of charity and assistance today and, above all, as active agents in the construction of peace were discussed.
The presentation, during the first day of the assembly, of the competencies and functioning of the Dicastery for Integral Human Promotion, one of the novelties within the Vatican's administrative organisation, was noteworthy.
Another of the key moments of these days was the intervention of monsignor Paul Richard Gallagher, responsible for relations with states and international organisations within the Secretariat of State of the Holy See. On the subject of peace, the central theme of the encyclical Fratelli Tutti, which guided these days' talks between major superiors, Gallagher was very clear in his speech about the position of the papal magisterium in the face of armed conflicts, which is nothing other than a "radical rejection of war". For the Holy See," Gallagher continued, "securing peace means promoting instruments of dialogue and negotiation, and encouraging efforts to achieve effective disarmament. This is precisely the theme that John Paul II wished to address to the diplomats posted to the Holy See on 9 January 1988, stressing that the international community must achieve total disarmament, in a context of détente and cooperation, because only a climate of growing confidence can guarantee the success of the path towards new possibilities for the future".
Differences between the peace of Jesus and the peace that the world gives
For his part, Pope Francis wanted to be part of this ecclesial meeting with an address to the participants of the assembly. In it, he spoke about peace in the world and the role of the Church and religious in it and in the history of the people of our time. "It is an urgent call that concerns us all, especially consecrated men: to be artisans of peace, of that peace which the Lord has given us and which makes us all feel like brothers: "My peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world gives it to you" (Jn 14:27).
"Jesus' peace is first of all his gift, the fruit of charity, never a human achievement; and from this gift, it is the harmonious whole of relationships with God, with oneself, with others and with creation," the Pope pointed out, and then continued: "Peace is also the experience of God's mercy, forgiveness and benevolence, which makes us capable of exercising mercy, forgiveness, rejecting all forms of violence and oppression. Therefore, God's gift of peace is inseparable from being builders and witnesses of peace".
Precisely this point is clearly reaffirmed in the encyclical Fratelli Tutti: "Artisans of peace ready to engender processes of healing and renewed encounter with ingenuity and daring (n. 225)".
This is the task given to us by the Church through the Pope. This is also the task in which the Order of St. Augustine is immersed.