1 July 2021 | Address of His Holiness


Saint Peter’s Basilica

Dear brothers and sisters,
We assembled today to pray and reflect, impelled by our deep concern for Lebanon – a country very close to my heart and which I wish to visit – as we see it plunged into a serious crisis. I am grateful to all the participants for having readily accepted the invitation and for their fraternal sharing. Sustained by the prayers of the Holy People of God, in facing this dark situation, we, as pastors, have sought together to be guided by God’s light. And in God’s light, we have seen our own lack of clarity: the mistakes we have made in failing to bear consistent witness to the Gospel, and above all the opportunities we have missed along the path to fraternity, reconciliation and full unity. For all this, we ask forgiveness, and with contrite hearts we pray: “Lord, have mercy” (Mt 15:22). […]
[…] Plans for peace and not for woe. As Christians, today we wish to renew our commitment to building a future together. For our future will be peaceful only if it is shared. Human relationships cannot be based on the pursuit of partisan interests, privileges and advantages. No, the Christian vision of society arises from the Beatitudes; it is born of meekness and mercy, and it inspires us to imitate in this world God’s own way of acting, for he is a father who desires his children to live in peace. We Christians are called to be sowers of peace and builders of fraternity, not nursing past grudges and regrets, not shirking the responsibilities of the present, but looking instead with hope to the future. We believe that God has shown us but one way: the way of peace. Let us therefore assure our Muslim brothers and sisters, and those of other religions, of our openness and readiness to work together in building fraternity and promoting peace. For “peace does not call for winners or losers, but rather for brothers and sisters who, despite the misunderstandings and hurts of the past, are journeying from conflict to unity” (Address, Interreligious Meeting, Plain of Ur, 6 March 2021). It is my hope that this day will be followed by concrete initiatives under the aegis of dialogue, of efforts to educate, and of solidarity. […]