The Pope has issued his annual message for the World Day of Peace. In the course of the message the Pope denounces terrorism and warns against the dangers of nuclear weapons. At the heart of the message is a strong denunciation of the corruption of authentic communication through lying. The following extract may be particularly relevant to SIGNIS members:
“how can we fail to be seriously concerned about lies in our own time, lies which are the framework for menacing scenarios of death in many parts of the world. Any authentic search for peace must begin with the realization that the problem of truth and untruth is the concern of every man and woman; it is decisive for the peaceful future of our planet.
“6. Peace is an irrepressible yearning present in the heart of each person, regardless of his or her particular cultural identity. Consequently, everyone should feel committed to service of this great good, and should strive to prevent any form of untruth from poisoning relationships. All people are members of one and the same family. An extreme exaltation of differences clashes with this fundamental truth. We need to regain an awareness that we share a common destiny which is ultimately transcendent, so as to maximize our historical and cultural differences, not in opposition to, but in cooperation with, people belonging to other cultures. These simple truths are what make peace possible; they are easily understood whenever we listen to our own hearts with pure intentions.
Peace thus comes to be seen in a new light: not as the mere absence of war, but as a harmonious coexistence of individual citizens within a society governed by justice, one in which the good is also achieved, to the extent possible, for each of them. The truth of peace calls upon everyone to cultivate productive and sincere relationships; it encourages them to seek out and to follow the paths of forgiveness and reconciliation, to be transparent in their dealings with others, and to be faithful to their word.
In a particular way, the followers of Christ, recognizing the insidious presence of evil and the need for that liberation brought by the divine Master, look to him with confidence, in the knowledge that ''he committed no sin; no guile was found on his lips'' (1 Pet 2:22; cf. Is 53:9). Jesus defined himself as the Truth in person, and, in addressing the seer of the Book of Revelation, he states his complete aversion to ''every one who loves and practices falsehood'' (Rev 22:15). He has disclosed the full truth about humanity and about human history. The power of his grace makes it possible to live ''in'' and ''by'' truth, since he alone is completely true and faithful. Jesus is the truth which gives us peace.”
The full text is available at : http://www.vatican.va/phome_en.htm ; Français : http://www.vatican.va/phome_fr.htm ; Español: http://www.vatican.va/phome_sp.htm