Sunday Angelus: Violence Must Never Be Used To Resolve Differences


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VATICAN CITY, 10 JAN 2010 (VIS) - At the end of today's Mass in the Sistine chapel, during which he baptised a group of newborn infants, at midday the Pope appeared at the widow of his private study to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square below.

"Baptism", said the Pope, "gives a very good idea of the overall meaning of the Christmas festivities, during which the predominant theme is that of becoming children of God thanks to the fact that the only-begotten Son adopted our humanity. He became man that we might become children of God. God was born that we might be reborn".

With the Sacrament of Baptism, the Holy Father continued, human beings "truly become children, children of God. From that moment the goal of their lives consists in achieving, freely and consciously, that which was mankind's aim from the beginning. 'Become what you are' is the basic educational principle of human beings redeemed by grace. ... Generated by Baptism to a new life, Christians begin their journey of growth in the faith, which will bring them consciously to invoke God as 'Abba- Father'".

"Baptism also provides a model for society: that of being brothers. Fraternity cannot be created through an ideology, even less so by a decree on the part of some authority. We recognise one another as brothers on the basis of a humble but profound awareness of being children of the one heavenly Father. As Christians, and thanks to the Holy Spirit we received at Baptism, our lot is to have the gift and the commitment of living as children of God and as brothers, in order to become a 'leaven' for a new humanity, united and rich in peace and hope".

After praying the Angelus the Holy Father spoke of two events that had caught his attention over recent days: "the situation of migrants who seek a better life in countries which, for various reasons, have need of their presence; and the conflicts in certain parts of the world in which Christians are subject to sometimes violent attacks.

"We must return to the heart of the problem", he added. "We must return to the meaning of the human person. An immigrant is a human being, different by background, culture and tradition, but a person to be respected, and possessing rights and duties, particularly in the area of work where the temptation to exploitation is greater, but also in the area of living conditions. Violence must never be a way to resolve difficulties. The problems is first and foremost human. I invite people to look at the face of the other and discover that he too has a soul, a story and a life. He is a person and God loves him just as He loves me".

And the Holy Father continued: "I would like to make similar considerations concerning man in his religious diversity. Violence towards Christians in certain countries has aroused the indignation of many people, also because it happened on the days most sacred to Christian tradition. It is important for both political and religious institutions not to renege ... on their responsibilities. There can be no violence in the name of God, nor can we think to honour Him by offending the dignity and freedom of our fellow man".