Vallombrosa 300x100 12.2017

Pope: Forge peace with forgiveness

May 15, 2015
Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY – Peace takes hard work and must be built one person at a time working each day by forgiving others, ending injustice and stopping greed, Pope Francis told elementary school children.

People also have to do more to stop condemning those who have made serious mistakes and instead help those who are incarcerated, especially juveniles, to start over and return to society, he said.

“It’s easier to fill prisons than help” them learn how to make better choices in life, Pope Francis said May 11 during a one-hour encounter with thousands of children, parents and educators taking part in an Italian initiative called “The Peace Factory.”

During the encounter a girl gave the pope a white safety helmet and a boy tied two bracelets with the initiative’s logo onto the pope’s wrists, making him “a special worker in the peace factory.”

Meeting in the Vatican’s Paul VI audience hall, the pope listened to a dozen elementary school kids asking him questions, including: why children suffer, why some powerful leaders choose war over peace, if the pope ever fought with his siblings, if he ever wanted some peace and quiet in his busy day and what if someone wanted to stay mad and did “not want to make peace with you? What would you do?”

“That’s a very good question,” he said. The only thing to do, he said, was respect that person’s freedom to think and feel the way they wanted.

One should pray for that person and “never, never take revenge,” he said.

An Egyptian boy asked why some powerful people do not help schools, but the pope said the question should be broadened to ask “Why do many powerful people not want peace? Because they live off of war: the arms industry,” he said, explaining how the industry will arm all sides in a conflict.

This highly profitable “industry of death” is driven by greed, which “is very harmful,” he said.

Irish Help at Home flattened
McCoy's Flattened
Arch SF Development Alternate
Pontifical Mission Society - 230x100
St. Anthony's Foundation - 230x100

Catholic San Francisco
One Peter Yorke Way, San Francisco, CA 94109
Phone: 415-614-5639    Fax: 415-614-5641
E-Mail Us