VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Selfishness and fear keep too many people ignorant of the suffering of others and prevent them from finding creative ways to express solidarity and to promote peace, said a statement from the Vatican’s justice and peace office.
To promote a reflection on the need for a “conversion of mind and heart” open to the needs of others, Pope Francis has chosen “Overcome indifference and win peace” as the theme for the church’s celebration of the World Day of Peace 2016.
Announcing the theme for the Jan. 1 celebration, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace said that peace is difficult to achieve when people are indifferent “to the scourges of our time.”
The problems everyone must be aware of, the council said in an Aug. 11 statement, include “fundamentalism, intolerance and massacres, persecutions on account of faith and ethnicity,” disregard for human rights, human trafficking and forced labor, corruption, organized crime and forced migration.
Simply increasing the amount of information about the problems is not enough, the council said: People must open their hearts and minds to the suffering of others.
“Today, indifference is often linked to various forms of individualism which cause isolation, ignorance, selfishness and, therefore, lack of interest and commitment,” the statement said.
World Peace Day 2016 will be celebrated within the Year of Mercy, which Pope Francis will open formally Dec. 8.
The peace day theme and a papal message about it — expected to be released in mid-December — aim to help people reflect on how they can “build together a more conscious and merciful and, therefore, more free and fair world,” the council said.
“The creation of a culture of law, education in dialogue and cooperation are, in this context, the fundamental forms of a constructive response,” the statement said.
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103