Pontiff Calls for Peace in 2016
During his New Year's Mass, the Holy See called for an end of war in 2016. Thousands gathered in St. Peter's Square to hear Pope Francis' message of peace, which he says can be "cultivated" by eliminating indifference in each individual. He called for a "Day of Peace and Goodwill," declaring, “That peace, which God the Father wants to sow in the world, must be cultivated by us.”
His message called for Catholics, and the world, to set aside their differences. "…the way to win peace" begins with each of us opening our hearts to those in need.
Indifference was another key note Pope Francis touched on. "…indifference makes one think only of oneself and creates barriers, suspicions, fears, and closure," declared the pontiff. In order to do this, Pope Francis asked for self-examination, and personal spiritual warfare. "This involves a real struggle; a spiritual battle that takes place in our hearts, for the enemy of peace is not only war, but also indifference, which makes us think only of ourselves and creates barriers…"
In his first speech in the New Year, the pontiff urged us to focus on our own neighbors. He explained how easily we can become distracted by world events. "“We have, thank God, much information; but sometimes we are so inundated with news that we are distracted from reality, from the brother and sister who needs us: let us begin to open our hearts, awakening attention to our neighbor,” he declared.
"Let ourselves be reborn, to overcome indifference which blocks solidarity and to leave behind the false neutrality which prevents sharing," Pope Francis pleaded; “This is the way to win the peace.”