File photo of Pope Francis and a group of children during the weekly General Audience File photo of Pope Francis and a group of children during the weekly General Audience  (ANSA)

Pope: Wars are always wrong, children will save us

In an illustrated book edited by Domenico Agasso, and entitled 'Dear Children... the Pope answers your questions,” Pope Francis offers his insights on crucial issues as he responds to questions from children around the world.

By Vatican News

The book, “Cari bambini … il Papa risponde alle vostre domande” published in Italian by Mondadori ElectaKids, provides a glimpse into Pope Francis' thoughts on important topics, as seen through the eyes of children.

A child's question on war

One striking question comes from Dario, a ten-year-old boy from Spain, who asks the Pope, "Why are there wars?" Pope Francis responds by explaining that wars often arise when adults succumb to the temptations of selfishness, power, and money. The desire for dominance, he says, can lead to conflicts, even if it means taking lives and causing suffering. The Pope uses the term "imperial self-interest" to help children understand the historical context of such conflicts, emphasizing that wars are always wrong.

A child's hope for world peace

Isabela, a nine-year-old from Panama, seeks the Pope's opinion on whether world peace is achievable. Pope Francis responds with hope, affirming that peace is possible. He calls on everyone to commit to disarmament, reduce violence, and eradicate the desire for power and wealth. By fostering love for one another, especially for those in need, the Pope says he believes that aggression and fear can diminish, leading to a more peaceful and content world.

Children as wise teachers

Pope Francis acknowledges the wisdom of children and their pure hearts. He notes that children have the ability to speak the truth openly and without prejudice. Their honesty helps adults, including parents, live more honestly and generously. Children also help keep adults humble by viewing them simply as caregivers rather than important figures based on prestige or fame. Their innocence can disconcert those who are overly narcissistic.

Caring for our planet

Through his answers, Pope Francis expresses his concern for nature and the impact of climate change and pollution caused by human activity. He warns that these issues could threaten humanity's existence by leading to global warming, environmental degradation, and the spread of lethal diseases. However, he places faith in the collective awareness of young people who understand the importance of safeguarding the future. The Pope encourages responsible behaviour in daily life, such as recycling and conserving resources. He emphasizes the need for international ecological measures and individual efforts to care for the planet.

A message of hope from a refugee camp

Samuel, a ten-year-old from Sudan living in a refugee camp, shares his experiences of living with malnourished friends. Despite his difficult circumstances, he often smiles but sometimes feels the urge to cry. Pope Francis has words of comfort for him and expresses his belief that all children should have access to education and spaces to play and have fun. He condemns the idea that Africa should be exploited without help and encourages Samuel to hold onto hope for a better future, with the expectation that richer countries will recognize their role in improving the lives of those facing hardship.

Promoting fraternity

Alessandro, a ten-year-old from Italy, asks the Pope about adults who resist the idea of families from poorer regions coming to their countries. The Holy Father underscores the importance of "social friendship" and the need to treat one another as brothers and sisters, irrespective of their background. He encourages children to be inclusive and welcoming to newcomers, helping bridge cultural and societal divides. Children, he reiterates, offer a powerful message: isolation is counterproductive, and embracing diversity fosters the common good.

"Cari bambini... il Papa risponde alle vostre domande"
"Cari bambini... il Papa risponde alle vostre domande"

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14 October 2023, 11:43