Dialogue, education and work. These are the three tools for building lasting peace indicated by Pope Francis in the message for the 55th Day of Peace that is celebrated today. But that of peace, as the Pontiff once again wished to emphasize, it remains a “path unfortunately far from the real life of so many men and women. Despite the many efforts aimed at constructive dialogue between nations, the deafening noise of wars and conflicts is amplified. In every age, peace is both a gift from above and the fruit of a shared commitment. There is, in fact, an ‘architecture’ of peace, where the various institutions of the company intervene, e there is a ‘craft’ of peace that everyone involves us personally. Everyone can work together to build a more peaceful world: starting from their own heart and relationships in the family, in society and with the environment, up to relations between peoples and between states“.
The first world day of peace
This anniversary celebrated by the Catholic Church has the purpose of dedicating the New Year’s Day for reflection and prayer for peace. Established by Pope Paul VI on December 8, 1967, the first World Day of Peace was celebrated on January 1, 1968. “It would be Our desire that then, every year, this celebration was repeated as a wish and as a promise – at the beginning of the calendar that measures and describes the journey of human life over time – that it is peace with its just and beneficial balance that dominates the unfolding of future history “, wrote Pope Paul VI in the message for the day of peace. “The proposal to dedicate the first day of the new year to Peace therefore it does not intend to qualify itself as exclusively ours, religious, that is, Catholic; it he would like to meet the support of all true friends of peace, as if it were their own initiative, and express themselves in free forms, congenial to the particular nature of those who perceive how beautiful and how important the consonance of every voice in the world is for theexaltation of this primary good, which is peace, in the varied concert of modern humanity “.
The verse of peace
But to date, the way to peace still seems fraught with obstacles. Pope Francis has it faithful to us in the Christmas message to, before the “Urbi et Orbi” blessing, when he wanted to remember the conflicts to which we have become so accustomed that immense tragedies are now passed over in silence“.
A path, that towards peace, made up of steps that slowly bring us closer to the goal. Come countryside”Dividend for peace“ launched by over fifty Nobel laureates and presidents of national academies of science that the governments of all the UN of “begins negotiations for an agreed reduction in military spending by 2 percent each year, for five years “.
Or as the volunteers of theOperation Dove of the Pope John XXIII Community which, since 1992, the year of his birth, day after day live “with the populations under siege, sharing the same conditions of poverty or danger that civilians are forced to live in war, under continuous armed attacks ”.
How not to mention the people who live in the Community of Peace of San José de Apartado: 500 peasants, determined not to leave their lands, resist the conflict in a violent way and not armed groups.
When the change is presented by a government
An important turning point towards peace comes from Republic of San Marino. The Captains Regent promulgated, after unanimous approval, the Law 2 December 2021 n. 194: “Establishment of the Civil Peace Corps of the Republic of San Marino and provisions on international volunteering “. An important step that highlights how it is possible – and not just a mirage – for a state equip themselves with a body that promotes and defends peace, eliminating expenses for armies and armaments.
A law that arrives after more than 10 years since the “Istanza d’Arengo” was presented, one of the three institutions of direct democracy of the Republic of San Marino which allows citizens to submit requests of public interest on the first Sunday after 1 October and the first Sunday after 1 April, coinciding with the election of the new Captains Regent . Although approved immediately, this instance ran aground. The 21 November 2017 one was filed popular initiative law proposal for the establishment of the Civil Corps of Peace of the Republic of San Marino, presented at first reading on 6 March 2018. Interris.it interviewed Guido Rossi, member of the Pope John XXIII Community e first signatory of the popular initiative law proposal.
The Republic of San Marino has promulgated a law for the establishment of a Civil Peace Corps. What is the significance of this decision?
“This is a decision that I would dare to define historical both for its meaning and for the prospects it opens up. The choice was born from the convergence of two situations: on the one hand the Republic of San Marino, a sovereign state, without an army, without stringent international impediments and which is in the best conditions to face the problems of peace; on the other hand, the reality of the Pope John XXIII Community which with Operation Colomba already knows, works and has been present for many years in territories of conflict. Volunteers participate a lot in countries of conflict, often with tourist permits, without any recognition of the very important they are carrying out, neither by the country of origin, nor by any international body. The significance of this decision is not only the recognition of this voluntary service, but also and above all, the assumption by a State of the ownership of some peace projects and initiatives. It should be noted that we do not speak of “Civil Peace Corps” in the plural, but of “Civil Peace Corps of the Republic of San Marino” in the singular, referring to a sovereign state “.
That of the Republic of San Marino is a choice that could appear against the tide, especially considering how much the States spend on armaments and military personnel. Could it also be an example for other countries? How can we encourage this path towards peace?
“The European Parliament in the past had issued documents inviting states to establish civil peace corps. In the face of the dramatic collapse of many initiatives based on weapons, of course, the choice of San Marino takes a courageous direction and could be defined as prophetic. Furthermore, it should be noted that San Marino would find itself in a position to propose itself as a possible venue for international negotiations for the resolution of conflicts ”.
Our society is increasingly recognizing the importance of promoting peace building. How to raise awareness among people?
“The approved law provides for two other very important aspects in relation to peace. The first concerns the involvement of the University of San Marino to promote university courses on the themes of peace and the inclusion, in the programming and ordinary teaching training, of the dissemination and deepening of the culture of peace. The second aspect relates to the promotion and patronage of San Marino, of international peace seminars and conferences. These are concrete choices that must be valued and made to bear fruit ”.
How has the Pope John XXIII Community contributed to this process?
“It all originates from the experience of volunteers from the Pope John XXIII Community who are committed to the person in the territories of conflict, and from the intuitions of Don Oreste Benzi who supported and supported these choices. This Law is the last stage in a series of initiatives that the Community has been involved in for a long time and directly starting from the San Marino Area. Two important passages are recalled in particular: the ‘Instanza d’Arengo’ approved by the Great and General Council of San Marino on March 19, 2010 and the Bill of Popular Initiative for the establishment of the Civil Corps of Peace of the Republic of San Marino, filed on 21 November 2017, presented at first reading on 6 March 2018 “.
How much has the experience of the dove operation influenced?
“The experience of Operation Colomba was essential because it constituted the concrete basis on which to base the formalized requests and because it provided the operational testimonies that were made known in some public presentations and in numerous meetings with institutional bodies at all levels . In particular, the contributions of Antonio De Filippis and Alberto Capannini were essential “.
Pope Francis said that a world war in pieces is underway in the world today. What leads man to make war and renounce peace?
“Pope Francis at the Angelus on December 8, referring to migrants, said: ‘Please let us look the discarded people we meet in the eye. Let us allow ourselves to be provoked by the faces of children, children of desperate migrants. Let us allow ourselves to be delved into by their suffering to react to our indifference. We look at their faces to wake up to the sleep of habit ‘. Here, the war is generated by the inability and then by the refusal to look at each other in the face “.
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