The Vatican

The conflict in Ukraine and the lost fraternity

Sunday, March 13, marks the first nine years since the election of Pope Francis. On that March 13, 2013, the pontiff wished his pontificate as "a journey of fraternity, of love, of trust among us."

Giovanni Tridente-March 12, 2022-Reading time: 3 minutes
ukraine anniversary pope françois

Photo: ©2022 Catholic News Service / U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Sunday, March 13, marks the first nine years since the election of Pope Francis. And never as in this period, characterized by a disastrous and fratricidal war between Russia and Ukraine at the gates of Europe with threats to world stability, the first words of the new Pope addressed to the people in St. Peter's Square sounded prophetic.

"And now, let us begin this journey... A journey of fraternity, of love, of trust between us". Elements, unfortunately, that any war conflict instantly annuls, generating unforeseeable consequences that will last for years.

The conflict we are currently experiencing, with thousands of civilian and military victims and millions of refugees forced to flee the bombings, is the exact opposite of fraternity, love and trust between people. Something failed then in humanity, despite the prophecy of March 13, 2013 and the infinite opportunities offered by the Holy Father to put this programmatic vision into value.

The numerous attempts at ecumenical and interreligious dialogue cannot go unnoticed, which are obviously grafted onto the path that the Church has been traveling for decades, with greater awareness since the Second Vatican Council, and which led, in 2019 in Abu Dhabi, to the signing of the important Document "On Human Brotherhood, for World Peace and Common Coexistence".

Evidently, this was not enough! It must also be said that every war, every deliberate choice to fight against a brother, is the result of complex situations, with reasons that are never on one side only, in an explosive mixture - it is appropriate to say it - that looks no one in the face and even less cares about the consequences it generates.

It is true that the Russian-Ukrainian crisis is certainly not the only one, much less the last one. We are coming from two years of pandemic turmoil and decades of outbreaks in various parts of the planet, both in the East and in the West, to the point that in that same Document on fraternity it was written that we were rather in a "third world war by parts".

What is on the horizon is another "integral" world conflict, the fourth to be exact, and God forbid that this should actually happen. That is why the Holy See is trying to set in motion all possible solutions to put an end to the fighting and the indiscriminate killing of innocent victims, and to open possibly lasting channels of dialogue between all parties.

Pope Francis himself, in his homily at the beginning of his pontificate, had recommended in particular "to care for people, to care for everyone, for each person, with love", - following the example of St. Joseph - and it is remarkable that the Year dedicated to the Spouse of Mary and the pontiff's series of catecheses on the beloved patron of the Universal Church have just ended.

Nine years later, perhaps it is necessary to return to those words, to that "responsibility that concerns us all", because when it is missing "then destruction finds its place and the heart dries up".

On that occasion, the Pope already offered the keys to put an end to hatred, envy and arrogance, which make life dirty: "watch over our feelings, our heart, because it is precisely from there that good and bad intentions come: those that build and those that destroy".

Let us start again from here, then, from this consciousness, and let each of us do all we can to bring the harmony of brotherhood and love back into our living and working environments. At least we will have avoided the many wars of which we are the prime movers. God help us and forbid!

Read more
La Brújula Newsletter Leave us your email and receive every week the latest news curated with a catholic point of view.
Banner advertising
Banner advertising