Pope Francis thanked God for the cease-fire agreed to in the Holy Land, adding a prayer “for the pursuit of paths of dialogue and peace.”
He asked all Catholics – “pastors and faithful” – to “unite themselves spiritually” to a prayer initiative promoted by the Bishops of the Holy Land, who will celebrate the Vigil of Pentecost in Saint Stephen’s Church in Jerusalem, praying especially for “the gift of peace.”
“May every community pray to the Holy Spirit ‘that Israelis and Palestinians may find the path of dialogue and forgiveness, be patient builders of peace and justice, and be open, step by step, to a common hope, to coexistence among brothers and sisters,” Pope Francis said, repeating his prayer from last Sunday’s Regina Coeli.
The Pope made his remarks in a formal address to a diverse group of new non-resident ambassadors to the Holy See, representing Singapore, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Algeria, Sri Lank, Barbados, Sweden, Finland, and Nepal.
“As a result of the pandemic, the social and economic crisis worldwide has become more severe,” he said. “As we seek to emerge from the present crisis, our societies are challenged to take concrete, and indeed courageous, steps to develop a global ‘culture of care’ that can inspire new relationships and structures of cooperation in the service of solidarity, respect for human dignity, mutual assistance and social justice.”
The work of diplomats, he said, is of “paramount importance” in “the development of a global consensus capable of responding to these ethical challenges facing our human family,” which besides the pandemic include issues such as migration and climate change. “These issues are not simply political or economic,” the Pope said. “They are questions of justice, a justice that can no longer be ignored or deferred,” and that impose “a moral obligation towards future generations.”
For its part, said Pope Francis, the Holy See is committed to supporting efforts “to build a world in which the human person is at the centre, finance is at the service of an integral development, and the earth, our common home, is protected and cared for.”
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