To the Countries of the World: Say NO to War


Pope and world religious leaders vow to oppose terror in God’s name

Pope Francis arrives during the inter-religious meeting ‘Prayer for Peace’ in Assisi, Italy, September 20, 2016. Osservatore Romano/Handout via Reuters
Pope Francis (L) hugs Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I (R) during the inter-religious meeting "Prayer for Peace" in Assisi, Italy, September 20, 2016. Osservatore Romano/Handout via Reuters

Pope Francis (L) hugs Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I (R) during the inter-religious meeting “Prayer for Peace” in Assisi, Italy, September 20, 2016. Osservatore Romano/Handout via Reuters

Pope Francis arrives during the inter-religious meeting "Prayer for Peace" in Assisi, Italy, September 20, 2016. Osservatore Romano/Handout via Reuters

Pope Francis arrives during the inter-religious meeting “Prayer for Peace” in Assisi, Italy, September 20, 2016. Osservatore Romano/Handout via Reuters

By Philip Pullella | ASSISI, ITALY

Pope Francis and leaders of other world religions said “No to War!” on Tuesday, vowing to oppose terrorism in God’s name and appealing to politicians to listen to “the anguished cry of so many innocents”.

Francis flew by helicopter to the central Italian hilltop city that was home to St. Francis, the 13th century saint revered by many religions as a patron of peace and nature and a defender of the poor.

The head of the Roman Catholic Church closed a three-day meeting where about 500 representatives of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism and other faiths discussed how their members could better promote peace and reconciliation.

Francis, who delivered two addresses and shared meals with the leaders, said indifference to suffering had become “a new and deeply sad paganism” that caused some to turn away from war victims and refugees with the same ease as changing a television channel.

Near the end of the gathering, members of each religion prayed in a separate locations and then joined each other in a square outside the famous pink stone basilica where St. Francis is buried.

Prayers were said for the victims of war, including in Syria and Afghanistan, and for the refugees fleeing the conflicts. A woman refugee from Aleppo now living in Italy told the pope at final gathering “my heart is in tatters”.

“Only peace is holy, and not war,” the Argentine-born pontiff said.

ABUSE OF RELIGION

Francis, leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, prayed in the basilica with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, spiritual leader of the world’s 80 million Anglicans, and Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of up to 300 million Orthodox Christians around the globe.

In a final appeal that key representatives signed and gave to children from around the world, they vowed “to oppose every form of violence and abuse of religion which seeks to justify war and terrorism.”

“No to war! May the anguished cry of the many innocents not go unheeded. Let us urge leaders of nations to defuse the causes of war: the lust for power and money, the greed of arms’ dealers, personal interests and vendettas for past wrongs,” the appeal said.

The narrow, cobblestone paths of Assisi echoed with the sound of different languages when Shinto priests in red-and-white robes crossed paths with rabbis in black and Muslims in white as each group converged outside St. Francis Basilica to join the Christians.

Speaking during the Christian service, Francis said the world could not ignore “our brothers and sisters, who live under the threat of bombs and are forced to leave their homes into the unknown, stripped of everything”.

“Who listens to them? Who bothers responding to them? Far too often they encounter the deafening silence of indifference, the selfishness of those annoyed at being pestered, the coldness of those who silence their cry for help with the same ease with which television channels are changed,” he said.

The event was held to mark the 30th anniversary of the first such encounter hosted by the late Pope John Paul in 1986.

(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

The Magic of Folk Music


Today’s post is dedicated to the folk music movement that enjoyed great popularity in the 60’s and 70’s. I grew up listening to the Beatles and Pete Seeger.  The Beach Boys and Arlo Guthrie.  So as you can see, it was Rock and Folk back then. Folk music is the music of the people. It’s lyrics deal with poverty, injustice and suffering.

 

I went to a Pete Seeger concert and took my husband, we sat in the grass and the entire audience sang with the band and the birds joined in with enthusiasm. We felt connected to every other person we could see. Pete has passed now but the beauty of his music endures.

 

Folk music deals with the lives of  “the masses”. The lyrics dealt with the coal miners, the railroad workers, the poor and the ill. It deals with those who are out of work and hungry. Those children who quit school to go to work to prevent the family from starving.

 

It also celebrates every life, big and successful or small and difficult. Folk music sees us all as equal and essential to the life of this planet. We are all one human species, and dwell upon this planet without borders. What effects you, effects me even if I don’t realize it. I am sure you know many of these songs and I hope you might enjoy singing along.

 

There is no difference between religions, skin color, ethnicity or how much money you have. It may seem like there are differences, but there aren’t inside where “we really live.”  Inside we are all the same, the children of God. We have bodies that work the same and we are all loved by the Divine. Folk music promotes peace and the atrocities of war. I hope you enjoy my offering today.

 

 

PovertyisAWeaponofMassDestruc

 

 

 

 

 

 

Khalil Gibran's heart

 

 

WeCon

 

 

photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2015

Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

 

HarmPosi