Archbishop Scicluna: ‘War only brings tragedy, never security'

On the sidelines of the Mediterranean Forum in Florence, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta laments the conflict in Ukraine, saying war can only bring destruction and never security.

By Devin Watkins

The Italian city of Florence has played host to the Mediterranean Forum over the past few days.

The event was meant to focus on what the ancient Romans called the Mare Nostrum (Latin for “our sea”), but as Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday, the forum expanded to give voice to a universal call for peace.

Tragedy of new European war

Against the backdrop of a new war in Europe, Archbishop Charles Scicluna spoke to Vatican News’ correspondent in Florence, Fr. Benedict Mayaki, SJ.

The Archbishop of Malta and Adjunct Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said everyone at the Forum has Ukraine in their hearts and minds.

“It is such a tragedy that we are here discussing a war in Europe, as if we have really learned nothing from the great tragedies of the last century,” he lamented.

War not a guarantee of security

Archbishop Scicluna noted that nations cannot wage war in an effort to seek security.

“War is never a guarantee of security. There is such a high price to pay for the credibility of international institutions and world peace.”

He appealed for “illumined hearts” to convert to peace and dialogue, because “war will only bring destruction, tears, bloodshed, and human tragedy.”

Florence Charter ‘seed for peoples’

The Archbishop added that the meeting in Florence has offered a message for both those living around the Mediterranean Sea and for people around the world.

The Forum has brought together city mayors and Catholic bishops to dialogue on topics including health, security, culture, and care of the environment.

On Saturday, representatives signed the “Florence Charter” which seeks to put the human person at the center of the international agenda by “pursuing peace, protecting the planet, guaranteeing prosperity, promoting the respect and dignity of the fundamental rights of each individual, also through the promotion of sustainable development goals and the Paris climate agreement.”

“The Florence Charter is an expression of important values,” said Archbishop Scicluna. “It’s like a seed that has been planted in the hearts of so many populations, and we hope that it can flourish and grow.”

Archbishop Scicluna on Mediterranean Forum
27 February 2022, 11:53