There is no peace without dialogue

2013-08-22 L’Osservatore Romano

Peace cannot be built without dialogue founded on meekness. Pope Francis said this  on Wednesday morning, 21 August, to a group of students and teachers of the Japanese Seibu Gauken Bunri Junior High School in Tokyo, Japan, who had gathered in the Vatican's San Damasus Courtyard.  “All the wars, all the strife, all the unsolved problems over which we clash”, the Pope said, “are due to the lack of dialogue”. Thus “when there is a problem” it is right to have recourse to “dialogue: this creates peace”.

With the young Japanese the Pope pointed out in particular the importance of “becoming acquainted with other people and other cultures”. This experience “makes us grow”.  Indeed, “if we are isolated in ourselves”, he explained, “we  have only what we have, we cannot develop culturally; instead, if we  seek out other people, other cultures, other ways of thinking, other religions, we go out of ourselves and start that most beautiful adventure which is called 'dialogue'”. Dialogue, however, the Pope warned, does not allow for closure and conflict, “because we talk to each other to find ourselves and not in order to quarrel”.

And in this perspective, Pope Francis concluded, there is the importance of  “meekness, the ability to find people, to find culture peacefully; the ability to ask intelligent questions: “But why are you thinking like this? Why does this culture do this?”.  Listening to others then speaking. First listening, then speaking. All this is meekness”.