Lombardi editorial: read Pope's Peace Message objectively

2012-12-15 Vatican Radio

The Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, has published his weekly editorial, in which he invites people to a careful and unprejudiced reading of the Message of Pope Benedict XVI marking the upcoming World Day of Peace, 2013. Please find the full text of Vatican Radio's English translation, below:


Pope Benedict XVI has given us a rich and important document in his Message for the 2013 World Day of Peace – a message that many voices within the Italian media, in particular, have presented in an extremely partial and distorted way. This has happened because the Pope, in a short passage, returns to the vision of marriage between a man and a woman as profoundly different from radically other forms of union, and states that this difference is recognizable by human reason. Along with other fundamental principles of a correct view of person and society, primarily the dignity of all human life, we need to defend the institution of marriage if we would build peace on solid foundations and seek the good of human society with foresight. This is the view that the Church never tires of stressing, at a time when this point is being challenged and even attacked from several quarters in many different countries. This is all well known. It is not in the least surprising. The reaction is therefore lacking in decent composure and sense of proportion: it consists in shouting, not in reasoning; it is intended to intimidate those who want to support this view freely in the public arena. Not only: such a reaction is meant to obscure many of the aspects of the Papal Message, which are of an extraordinary relevance and strength. These merit careful consideration and rather deserve to have our attention called to them. In times of rampant unemployment, the clear statement by the Pope of the right to work as essential to the dignity of the human person sounds like a cry of alarm, calling for a much deeper and more serious reflection on the transformation of “models of development” that have brought us to where we are – models from which those principles of fraternity and solidarity, are conspicuous by their absence, along with that spirit of grateful generosity, which alone can ensure that the economic, social and political spheres of life are ordered to the authentic human good. The Pope also forcefully recalls that the food crisis is far more serious than the financial crisis: hunger continues to spread in the world and we forget too easily. Too many people are dying of hunger. Pope Benedict’s encyclical letter, Caritas in veritate, and John XXIII’s famous Pacem in terris, which will have its fiftieth anniversary soon, already guided us to engage in these directions.
In essence, the message says something urgent and essential for contemporary humanity, which should not be forgotten just because it also makes a reasonable case against and calls for opposition to “legal equivalence” between marriage – always and of its nature a union of one man and one woman – and “radically different forms of union”. We invite everyone to read the document in full, and objectively.