Anchored to a Presence
Saturday, January 14, 2017
3:15 pm | Second floor
A witness by Msgr. Giampietro Dal Toso, Delegated Secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, on the Holy See’s initiatives to help the Syrian and Iraqi people
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Violence begets violence, and we have the impression of being caught up in a spiral of arrogance and inertia from which there is no escape. This evil which grips our will and conscience should challenge us. Why, even at the cost of untold damage to persons, property and the environment, does man continue to pursue abuses of power, revenge and violence? We think of the recent attack on a United Nations humanitarian convoy… This is the experience of the mysterium iniquitatis, that evil which is present in man and in history and which needs to be redeemed. Destruction for destruction’s sake. And so, during this Year, in which we fix our gaze more intensely on Christ, on Mercy incarnate who has conquered sin and death, I am reminded of the words of Saint John Paul II: “The limit imposed upon evil, of which man is both perpetrator and victim, is ultimately the Divine Mercy” (Memory and Identity). It is the only limit. Yes, the answer to the drama of evil lies in the mystery of Christ.
Seeing the many suffering faces in Syria, in Iraq and in the neighboring and distant countries where millions of refugees are forced to seek shelter and protection, the Church beholds the face of her Lord in his Passion.
The work of all who, like you, represent so many workers in the field, who are committed to helping refugees and to safeguarding their dignity, is certainly a reflection of God’s mercy and, as such, a sign that evil has limits and does not have the last word. This is a sign of great hope, for which I wish to thank you, and also the many unnamed people – though not nameless to God – who, especially in this Jubilee Year, are praying and interceding in silence for the victims of conflicts, particularly for children and the weak, and who in this way are also supporting your work. In Aleppo, children have to drink polluted water!
~Pope Francis, Address to Members of Catholic Organizations Serving in Iraq, Syria, and Neighboring Territories, September 29, 2016