Andrea Riccardi ecumenical event "Peace is the Future" in 2014




The speech by Andrea Riccardi in the international meeting of prayer for peace, entitled "Peace Is The Feature", promoted by the Sant'Egidio Community for the year 2014.


Andrea Riccardi, riccardi andrea, Prayer for Peace, Ecumenism, dialogue, Peace (Quotation Subject), Future, peace, future, peace is the future, Community of Sant'Egidio, Ecumenism (Literature Subject), Religion (TV Genre), encounter between religions
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[Hilde Kieboom]: "Your Holiness, Beatitude, Eminence, Excellencies, dear friends, now let's listen willingly the words of Andrea Riccardi, founder the Community of Sant'Egidio. We thank him for having the vision to understand the strength emanating from the historic meeting of Assisi from '86, and for creating this movement of men and women, friends of peace, which has led and will lead fruits of peace and reconciliation in the world. "
[Andrea Riccardi]: "In these moments, the title of our conference seems just a omen. The reality of today is not peace. It does not even look like the future. War is returned to the European territory between Russia and Ukraine. The architecture of the Middle East jumped in two years, while the refugees escape persecuted by Northern Iraq (we will listen a voice in the way, but I take this opportunity to greet with participation Patriarch Sako, who has lived along the northern Iraq and he is now living the drama of a people of refugees). Syria is in the grip of a tearing and inhuman war. Painful stories that are also born from the rehabilitation of the instrument of war, and also from the admixture between religion and violence. Generally, also it manifests a deterioration compared to the mode of war provided for under the Geneva Convention about prisoners and wounded, and the humanitarian right; wars more inhumane, if I can say. It can be seen from exhibition of cruelty, cruelty, in general, until recently hidden, by whoever committed, and now used as a weapon, in a time of globalism. Massacre, to show horror, women and men humiliated, driven from their homes, stripped naked, shot, or worse; children killed, journalists. This is the terrorism: the cult of violence that terrorizes and conquest. The peace does not seem to be the future; It does not seem even in large cities, especially in the suburbs, where the widespread violence of mafias and crime dominates, almost a civil war. In many countries of the world (I think of some African countries), the state does not protect the citizen who finds itself in violent hands of criminal groups or pseudo-religious (We talked about it yesterday with Cardinal Onaiyekan, whom I greet, as I greet all guests from Nigeria). I do not evoke these scenarios to enhance fear. The global world - as well and authoritatively explained by Professor Bauman - is a land of many fears; Professor Bauman noted, inter alia, that our generation, despite being the most technologically equipped in history, is perhaps the which is more afraid and feel more insecure. The contemporary man and woman feel isolated at the mercy of forces that can attack them from a distance; thay live what the great scholar Mircea Eliade called "the fear of history." The citizen, alone, associated, feels incapable to make history and it does not even try; It does not have power, politics no longer has power. The fear is not just a feeling, it becomes, sometimes despise the other: other for religion, ethnicity, different. The culture of contempt is as old as human history, but in this time of globalization it has an its impressive revival. Fear generates violence, sometimes violence smuggled as preventive against the alleged others' aggression. Dear friends, in these days we question of peace and the future, we do it in Belgium after one hundred years since the First World War, when this small neutral country was swept by a conflict taht was born far away, showing that war infects in an environment saturated with tensions; and a local war, European, became world war. And I take this opportunity to thank the authorities and our Belgian friends of their hospitality, and to say thank you to those who have worked for the preparation of this meeting, voluntarily but fervently, thank you! A special thought goes, with great sympathy, to my dear friend, the Bishop of Antwerp, Monsignor Bonny, with whom we created this event, and a thought to the Community of Sant'Egidio of Belgium. Pope Francesco, a few weeks ago, spoke of contemporary conflicts as a third world war, but in pieces, in chapters. And in this scenario we wonder: "Peace is our future? ". But who are we? We come by far - I beg to evoke our path - from the first major encounter between the religions in Assisi, the city of St. Francesco, in 1986, wanted by Giovanni Paolo II, at the time of the cold war: we call it «The path in the spirit of Assisi». Giovanni Paolo II then said, I quote: «Never before, in human history, it has become evident the link between a genuine religious attitude and the great good of peace», end of citation. Religion and peace penetrate. It was necessary to remove religious foundation from war, from violence, to deny the basis of all religious war. We have continued, since '86, year after year, collecting religious men and women, humanists, to work on the delicate border between peace and war. We did so in the belief that war is never holy and that only peace is holy. We monitored the border between war and religion. They create dangerous mixtures, as in the late twentieth century and the beginning of the new century, when firmly rooted the habit of reading conflicts as religion or civilization war; a terrible simplification face of the complexity of the global world, comfortable simplification for those who wanted an enemy, for those who did not want struggle to understand each other, but also - we must say - for those who wanted to go to war, or stand as an enemy of the other or the world. Religion war? Scared men and women reassured by finding an enemy to fight, or greedy for power sought legitimacy from religion. A long journey, from '86, year after year, we have made it clear that peace is too serious to make a business for few people; then, Giovanni Paolo II said: «Peace is a workshop, open to all, not only to specialists, savants and strategists», end of qoute; whence gushes the movement for peace and dialogue involving humanists and communities of believers. Sure enough, we found ourselves in front of the objection, in the face of ongoing conflicts, «but what has your dialogue served for? ". But friends what would the world be without dialogue !? Pope Francesco, a few months ago, visiting Sant'Egidio, He said: «The world suffocates without dialogue». Yes, the dialogue between religions, cultures, people is the answer for living together, in worlds increasingly complex, composite. It is a daily practice, it is a culture that becomes a proposal. Because wars always leave the world worse than they found initially. Just look the last two decades: the wars in the overall world, they have left a poisoned legacy. I do not say it for a pacifist convention, but I say it for a clear historical consciousness of what happened: the wars leave the world's worst ever; because wars destroy men, countries, human lives. The rejection of war does not born from generic pacifism, but from the desire to be peacemakers, that is to talk about the path of dialogue. Yet, in the face of conflict, the institutional headquarters boxes seem worn, while culture and the practice of dialogue appear written down, as politically correct as a proposal without passion; They are mocked by the manhood that is rehabilitating violence and war. Religions have a decisive responsibility. In this world frightened by the economic crisis, in our world we need a breath that revive hope, that lead to consciousness of a common destiny. Because religions show that men make a single large trip and have a common destiny; this is a basic consciousness, simple as bread, and necessary as water, that of a common destiny to live in diversity. Anthropologist Germaine Tillion, who has known the Nazi concentration camp, he said: «All relatives, all different». We are all relatives, but this consciousness is lost in the tangle of hates, of interest, in fanaticism. Friends, we need to revive the construction of unity, above all we must revive a unitive tension: all relatives. Religions and cultures can revive this consciousness. «Be simple with intelligence», the great John Chrysostom said. I have in mind, in this moment, two men of dialogue and of religion, dear friends, two Christian bishops, Mar Gregorios Ibrahim and Paul Yazigi, and with them father Paul Dall'Oglio, kidnapped for more than a year in Syria, of whom we have not heard, and I want to remember them. And I take this opportunity to greet, among us, Patriarch Ephrem, Syriac church leader, which is the church of Mar Gregorios, a people of believer, poor and defenseless, which for generations has kept the peace without weapons; welcome Holiness. Unfortunately religions are sometimes attracted by violence, by inhumane fanaticism. Religions must go back to their deep peacekeeping force, and this is manifested in the encounter, in generosity, in cultivating the spiritual dimension of friendship. The strength of the journey in the spirit of Assisi confirms solemnly that there is no war and violence in the name of God. We say in our religious traditions, warning that violence in the name of God is a curse and all religious traditions talk about a God that is patient, merciful, compassionate, slow to anger. We must, in these difficult times, find the audacity to remember that peace is the name of God. And finding us, today, on this anniversary of the First World War, against the difficult stage of the conflict, gives us the strength to say again that peace is the name of God. This means seeking peace as the future of our countries, of open warfare; every religious leader, every believer, to the beyond his community, is called to be man of peace. This involves the growing of the passion for peace, involves the growing of peacekeeping force, capable of producing new ideas, revive the places of the meeting and rebelling against the destiny of war. Dear friends, I welcome you with great joy, but I feel also that this meeting is not only a nice meeting, but it is a necessity of our time. It's been 30 years, from the '86, when we began our journey; some of us, of course, they have grown old, but it has increased the belief in us that war is the greatest folly, and dialogue is the medicine for conflict. And more of yesterday, today we are convinced that peace is a great ideal, that can inspire not only political, but also human lives. Yes, peace is trampled ideal, in some parts of world, but should raise it up. Peace is the great ideal for emptied and without ideals societies. Our ideal is that peace is the future. "