The Declaration on Human Fraternity is an important annual event that celebrates the signing of the declaration by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar. Even as religious extremism increases in some regions of the Indian subcontinent, we reflect on the importance of respecting individual freedom of choice and consent in matters of belief, in order to foster a culture of goodness, peace, and fraternity.
Largely, the Associated Press has been very aggressive against the Catholic Church but a giant of this size has room for many exceptions, as this interview with Pope Francis showed. The conversation with the journalists ventured across many important topics.
Pope Francis asked, and Macau responded enthusiastically. Hundreds of children from local Catholic schools prayed the Rosary on October 18th as part of a global campaign of prayer for peace and unity promoted by the international foundation, Aid to the Church in Need. The local Portuguese-speaking Catholic community joined the “One Million Children Praying the Rosary” campaign for the second year in a row.
The war continues, with millions of refugees and thousands of dead. A war that, as the Holy See stated in a press release a few days ago, “is morally unjust, unacceptable, barbaric, senseless, repugnant, and sacrilegious.” Will the Russian people have the courage to end it?
During his six-day trip to Canada, the Holy Father apologized for the “evil” of church personnel who worked on Canada’s infamous residential schools and the “catastrophic” effect the school system had on indigenous families. The Supreme Pontiff asked the indigenous community to restore its relationship with Catholicism, but without negating the past.
Separated from the rest of creation, we, as humans, would cease to exist. Our spiritual and existential protection and revival can be confirmed only through us acknowledging that our bond with the environment must mirror the bond of the three Persons in one God.
The head of Iran’s Islamic Seminary Ayatollah Alireza Arafi held a meeting with Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church, at the Vatican to propound the idea of religious solidarity holding the key to the world’s problems.
Evil cannot be repaid with evil. It becomes a festering wound that staves off any inkling of peace. Peace requires a process of reflection, forgiveness and complete reliance on the Holy Spirit.
The pontiff once again calls for the cessation of violence in Ukraine and peace in the world on Easter Sunday, persisting in his stance against the Russian aggression.
There is a universal agreement that war is inherently evil. But it takes an influential religious leader like the Pope to goad the collective conscience into limiting the cruel outcome of human greed and apathy.