Vatican City, Sep 29, 2016 / 09:26 am
In a passionate speech on Thursday, Pope Francis condemned as arrogant the mentality of revenge and the abuses of power that lead to violent conflicts.
“Violence begets violence, and we have the impression of being caught up in a spiral of arrogance and inertia from which there is no escape,” the Pope told members of charitable and humanitarian organizations Sept. 29, adding that the evil “which grips our will and conscience should challenge us.”
“Why, even at the cost of untold damage to persons, property and the environment, does man continue to pursue abuses of power, revenge and violence?” he said, and pointed to a recent attack on a U.N. humanitarian convoy as an example.
Acts of violence such as this are part of the “mysterium iniquitatis,” he said, referring to “that evil which is present in man and in history and which needs to be redeemed.”
Francis condemned the attack as “destruction for destruction’s sake,” and stressed that despite the growing suffering due to war and conflict, “the answer to the drama of evil lies in the mystery of Christ.”
Pope Francis spoke to members of charitable organizations gathered in the Vatican for a Sept. 29 symposium on the humanitarian crisis in Iraq and Syria, organized by the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.
Marking the fifth such meeting, the symposium gathered 80 representatives from various Catholic charitable organizations in the Middle East, as well as those in religious congregations who work in crisis areas.
Among the participants were several bishops from Syria and Iraq, as well as the apostolic nuncios to both countries, Archbishop Mario Zenari and Archbishop Alberto Ortega, respectively. Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin also spoke during the event, as did Staffan de Mistura, special U.N. envoy to Syria.