The Vatican

Pope urges "stop the war!" and not to separate faith and daily life

At the Angelus this Sunday, World Mission Sunday, the Holy Father Pope Francis called for humanitarian aid in Gaza and the release of the hostages, and begged the parties: "Stop, stop, stop! Every war in the world, I am thinking also of the tormented Ukraine, is always a defeat and a destruction of human brotherhood". He also warned against the "schizophrenia" of separating faith from "concrete life".

Francisco Otamendi-October 22, 2023-Reading time: 3 minutes
Pope Francis

Pope Francis during a moment of prayer dedicated to migrants and refugees on October 19, 2023 (CNS photo / Lola Gomez).

Pope Francis prayed this morning at the Angelus of World Mission SundayHe renewed his "appeal for peace in the Holy Land," and renewed his "appeal so that spaces can be opened and humanitarian aid can continue to arrive, and that the hostages can also be released. In addition, he once again sent to the world, thinking also of "the tormented Ukraine", the message that "war is always a defeat and a destruction of human brotherhood. Brothers, stop, stop".

In his words after the Angelus prayer, the Pontiff acknowledged that he was "very concerned and in great pain for all that is happening in the world. Israel and Palestine. I am close to all those who suffer, the wounded, the hostages, and the victims and their families."

The Pope underlined "the grave humanitarian situation in Gaza, and it pains me that also the Anglican hospital and the Greek Orthodox parish have been bombed in the past few days," he said. 

Francisco then recalled that "next Friday, October 27th, I have called for a day of fasting, prayer and penance"This evening at 6 p.m. at St. Peter's we will have an hour of prayer to ask for peace in the world".

Afterwards, the Holy Father recalled that "today is World Mission Day, with the motto "Burning hearts, feet on the way". Two images that say it all! I urge everyone in dioceses and parishes to take an active part".

In his greetings to Romans and pilgrims, the Pope mentioned, among others, the Sisters Servants of the Poor Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, from Granada; the members of the Centro Académico Romano FoundationThe following are also grateful to the Brotherhood of the Lord of Miracles of the Peruvians in Rome: the members of the lay missionary movement 'All Custodians of Humanity', the polyphonic choir of St. Anthony Abbot of Cordenons, and the associations of the faithful of Naples and Casagiove.

Warning of a "schizophrenia"

Pope Francis began his brief meditation prior to the Angelus referring to the episode in the Gospel in which some Pharisees ask Jesus whether it is lawful to pay tax to Caesar or not, and the answer of Jesus Christ: "Render to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's", corresponding to this episode. 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

These words of Jesus, the Pope pointed out, "have become commonplace, but at times they have been used in a mistaken - or at least reductive - way to speak of the relationship between Church and State, between Christians and politics; they are often understood as if Jesus wanted to separate "Caesar" and "God," that is, the earthly reality from the spiritual."

"Sometimes, we also think like this: faith with its practices is one thing, and another.

No. This is a "schizophrenia. No. This is a "schizophrenia", as if faith had nothing to do with concrete life, with the challenges of society, with social justice, with politics and so on", said the Holy Father.

"We are the Lord's"

Francis pointed out in his reflection on the Gospel that "Jesus wants to help us to place "Caesar" and "God" each in their proper place, each in his own importance. To Caesar - that is, to politics, to civil institutions, to social and economic processes - belongs the care of the earthly order, of the polis (...) But, at the same time, Jesus affirms the fundamental reality: that to God belongs man, every man and every human being".

"This means that we do not belong to any earthly reality, to any "Caesar" of this world. We belong to the Lord and must not be slaves of any worldly power. On the coin, therefore, is the image of the emperor, but Jesus reminds us that in our life is imprinted the image of God, which nothing and no one can obscure."

The Pope then pointed out some questions for examination, as is his custom. "Let us understand then that Jesus is returning each of us to our own identity: on the coin of this world is the image of Caesar, but what image do you bear within you? Whose image are you in your life? Do we remember to belong to the Lord, or do we allow ourselves to be shaped by the logics of the world and make work, politics, money, our idols to worship?"

"May the Holy Virgin help us to recognize and honor our dignity and that of every human being," he concluded.

The authorFrancisco Otamendi

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