As has become customary, on his return flight to Rome after his visit to Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius, Pope Francis talked and answered several questions put to him by journalists who accompanied him on this trip.
A journalist from a Mozambique newspaper “Noticias” asked about the Pope’s expectations for the peace process in his country
Regarding the peace process the Pontiff said that this is a long peace process, which has had its highs and lows, but that in the end ended with a historic embrace which identifies Mozambique today.
Everything is lost through war
“I hope that this will continue, and I pray that it does so. I invite everyone to make an effort to ensure that this peace process is carried forward – because, as a Pope before me said, everything is lost through war, and everything is won through peace. (Pius XII) This is clear, and it must not be forgotten. It is a long peace process, with a first stage that was interrupted, then another stage.
“And the effort made by the leaders of the opposing parties, not to say enemies, is to go towards each other. It is also a dangerous effort, some risked their lives, but in the end, a conclusion was reached. I would like to thank all those who helped in this peace process.
“There were many people present; there was a priest from the Community of Saint Egidio – who will be made Cardinal on October 5 (Archbishop Matteo Zuppi of Bologna). Then, with the help of many people, including the Community of Saint Eigidio, this result was achieved.
“We must not be triumphalistic in these areas. Triumph is peace. We do not have the right to be triumphalistic because peace is still fragile in your country, just as it is fragile in the world. It needs to be treated in the same way that newly born things are treated, like children, with much, much tenderness, with delicacy, with forgiveness, with patience, in order to make it grow and make it strong.
Peace is the triumph
“It is the triumph of the country: peace, peace is the victory of the country, we must understand that and that goes for all countries, that are being destroyed by war .
“Wars destroy, they make us lose everything. I am dwelling a bit on the theme of peace because I have it at heart. It is true that, a few months ago, when the landing in Normandy was celebrated, there were heads of States there to remember what was the beginning of the end of a cruel war, and also of anti-human and cruel dictatorships such as Nazism and Fascism… but, 46,000 soldiers died on that shore – that is the price of war.
“I confess that when I went to Redipuglia for the commemoration of the First World War, I cried out “please, never again, war!” When I went to Anzio to celebrate All Soul’s Day, in my heart I felt that a conscience must be built: wars do not solve anything; on the other hand, they make those who do not want peace for humanity richer.
“Forgive me for this appendix but I had to say it before a peace process, for which I pray and will do all that I can so that it goes forward – and I hope that it grows with strength”, concluded the Pope on the topic of peace.