Pope Francis met victims of the conflict from the east of the country at the Holy See embassy in Kinshasa, the capital of Congo (DRC), and called on those who manipulate the conflict: Stop getting rich on dirty money stained with the blood of the weak.
(Vatican News Network)Pope Francis received victims of conflict from the east of the country at the Holy See’s embassy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the afternoon of February 1. The continuous violence there made the people miserable and innocent people lost their lives. It was in that area that an Italian ambassador, one of his escorts and a driver were killed two years ago. Facing the many victims of the conflict, the Pope said: “While people endure violence and are killed, the business that produces violence and death continues to thrive! Enough! Stop relying on the pain of the weakest. Get rich, stop getting rich with blood-stained resources and dirty money!”
The Pope is well aware that behind the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there are people who are manipulating the situation to “plunder, harm and destabilize this country”. Addressing these people directly, the Pope said: “You enrich yourself by illegally exploiting this country, by shedding the blood of innocent victims. Hear the cry of their blood and listen to the voice of God. God calls you to repentance. , appeal to your conscience: silence your arms and end war.”
Several representatives from war-torn areas testified. After each of them spoke, an instrument of hatred was placed under the wooden crucifix next to the pope’s pew. The sharing was interrupted by the cry of a little girl, the pope said: “I am with you. Your tears are my tears and your pain is my pain. … I would like to bring you the soft consolation of God .”
The Successor of Peter, in the name of God, condemns the “armed violence, killings, rapes, and the destruction and occupation of villages” that continue in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “The insecurity, the violence and the wars, which tragically affect so many people, are fueled not only by external forces but also by internal forces in order to benefit from them; it is an abhorrent situation,” the pope said indignantly. For this reason, the Pope begged the Father to “forgive the atrocities that man has inflicted on man” and said: “Father, have mercy on us! Comfort the victims and sufferers, and change the mind of those who commit cruel atrocities.” .”
At the same time, the Pope also urged all people to do two “nos” and two “yes”: say “no” to violence, say “no” to resignation; say “yes” to peace, and say “yes” to hope. “yes”.
These two “no”s and two “yes” are the way to start again. The Pope clarified that hatred only incites hatred and violence only begets violence. God is the Lord of peace. To this end, the Pope encouraged everyone to “lay down weapons in their hearts, remove the venom, reject hatred, dissolve greed, and eliminate resentment.” All this sets a man free, for from this comes peace. “Yes, peace comes from the heart, and peace comes from a heart without resentment.”
Speaking of “saying no to fate”, the pope urged the Congolese people to “work hard to build a better future”. “A group that only cares about its own one-sided interests and only cares about itself cannot build the future.” Therefore, “the evils suffered by each need to be transformed into the well-being enjoyed by all”.
Regarding “Yes to reconciliation,” the Pope said: “You are willing to strive to forgive each other, to resist war and conflict, to bring distances closer and to overcome differences. You are willing to do this in one voice of prayer, and you are eager to wait a little while before the Crucifixion.” Take great courage to put down in your prayers every sign of violence you have seen and experienced.”
“In the time of Jesus, the cross was an extremely terrifying instrument of death, but through the love of Jesus, it became a tool of universal reconciliation and became a tree of life.” The Pope envisions the survivors of the violence also becoming “trees of life”: absorbing pollutants and exhaling oxygen. “Only forgiveness can open the door to tomorrow. … Reconciliation with each other is tantamount to creating tomorrow, believing in the future instead of clinging to the past”.
As for “saying yes to hope”, the Pope pointed out that it is hope in Christ: “through him every grave becomes a cradle and every Calvary a garden of the Passover. Through Jesus, Hope comes back to life: for those who have suffered, and even for those who have sinned.”
The pope then issued an appeal for every woman and every mother, saying: “Every woman deserves to be respected, protected and valued: violence against a woman, against a mother, is doing against God. God obeys women , acquired humanity from the mother.”
Finally, the Pope recited the Our Father with all the people present and bestowed blessings on them.
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