Bring good where there is evil and build solidary, fraternal, and civil communities, able to guard against all elements of violence. This is the only way out of the labyrinth of violence that has attacked the modern world. The value of non-violence must be found again, but especially lived, both for those who are Catholic and for non-believers. It consists accommodating the other even if (s)he is very different from us.
It is not just an abstract idea, but a concrete life testimony. The Association Pope John XXIII founded by Don Oreste Benzi, has been present in Colombia and Palestine for several years, where we basically work as ‘glue’, as a bridge between the different factions. In the village of Tuwani, for example, we live with local families, do after-school activities, and accompany them in class. Committed to these activities are young people from the Operation Dove, a wonderful project that gives great results in terms of coexistence. We operate also in Lebanon with Syrian refugees. Besides, there is the work done by the White Helmets, the international civil service we have in almost 20 countries around the world; also here the goal is to build bridges, foster dialogue, and find routes of reconciliation. We can and must do it; this is the way.
What happened in Paris is a despicable and cowardly attack against innocent people which must strongly condemned. Paris is a new step that should lead us to try to remove the causes of planetary violence which is now unpredictable.
The West and the countries which continue to sell arms must reflect on its responsibilities, sit at the negotiating table and forage nations where lurks fundamentalist extremism are needed actions. We live in the age of weapons of mass destruction, in the era of unbridled globalization which allows 1% of the world population to have possession of 40% of the earth’s goods. This is the era in which the power of the arms and the violence they emanate have become a tool in the hands of the terrorist fundamentalism.
The cry of the victims in Paris must make us rebel against all forms of violence that lurk against the man, from killing inside the womb to the refugees dying on boats. Behind all violence there is the suffering of a God who is involved in the problems of human beings. Thus, I strongly believe that the true answer to today’s crisis of today is lived nonviolence.