Dialogue Between Generations, Education and Work: Tools for Building Lasting Peace

The Holy Father's Message for the 55th World Day of Peace was presented today at the Vatican Press Office.

"In every age, peace is both a gift from on high and the fruit of a shared commitment. Indeed, we can speak of an “architecture” of peace, to which different institutions of society contribute, and an “art” of peace that directly involves each one of us. [3] All can work together to build a more peaceful world, starting from the hearts of individuals and relationships in the family, then within society and with the environment, and all the way up to relationships between peoples and nations". This is a passage from the 55th Message for the World Day of Peace, which traditionally falls on 1 January, presented today at the Holy See Press Office.

Illustrating the themes of Pope Francis' message, entitled this year "Dialogue between generations, education and work: tools for building lasting peace", were Cardinal Peter Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Sr. Alessandra Smerilli, ad-interim Secretary of the Dicastery, Father Fabio Baggio, Undersecretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery, and Dr. Aboubakar Soumahoro, President of "Lega Braccianti" and spokesperson for "Invisibili in Movimento".

Echoing the words of the Holy Father and referring to the Encyclical Fratelli tutti, Cardinal Turkson said that "Despite obstacles, differences and different perspectives on how to achieve peaceful coexistence", the need to involve ordinary people, the most neglected communities, in the peace process "calls us to persevere in the struggle to promote a culture of encounter. This requires placing at the centre of all political, social and economic activity the human person, who enjoys the greatest dignity, and respect for the common good". (Brothers All, 231-2) . 

"Young people propose to us an alliance to give answers to the cry of the earth and the poor, to promote decent working conditions for all" because "there is no justice without fair jobs, without work for all, without decent and respectful jobs for all" observed Sr. Smerilli. The ad-interim Secretary then defined work as an "expression of our identity and dignity, of our social and relational vocation, of our care and cultivation of the earth, with God and with others", announcing the commitment of the Dicastery in the coming year on the theme of work. He then invited people to "put care, the expression of the principle of fraternity, back at the centre of the social pact". 

For Father Baggio, "The world is our common home, the only possible home for our common family. And both the common family and the common house always lose when wars occur within them. Rulers who think they can solve problems with armed conflict belong to the past, not to the future". 

Lastly, Aboubakar Soumahoro stressed the need to "launch a spiritual revolution that is capable of entering into the dynamics of real life, also to rebuild the sense of belonging to the same human community". We need to "restore hope", he concluded, "and not exasperate suffering, uniting and federating people who are different but who share common needs and dreams". 


[3] Cf. Fratelli tutti (3 October 2020), 231.


21 December 2021