Archbp. Paul Richard Gallagher, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations, told the members of the Union of Superiors General (IUSG) on Wednesday that peace can be achieved only when there is genuine dialogue.
Archbishop Gallagher made the statement during the opening ceremonies of the ongoing 98th USG assembly at the Fraterna Domus of Sacrofano close to the Vatican.
The event, which will end on the 25th with a meeting with the pope, focuses on the Catholic Church’s mission to advance global peace. It also zeroes in on the joint thrust by the USG and the UISG (International Union of Women Superiors General) in supporting ‘justice, peace, and integrity of creations, specifically in programs catering to consecrated men and women.’
‘Artisans of Peace’
The Vatican News bared in an article that the three-day convention has the theme “Fratelli tutti: called to be artisans of peace.” The theme was reportedly taken from the encyclical on human fraternity’s paragraph 225.
There, Pope Francis explains that many places worldwide require “paths of peace” to mend the wounds caused by war.
“There is also a need for peacemakers, men and women prepared to work boldly and creatively to initiate processes of healing and renewed encounter,” the pope explained in the document.
The Vatican News article disclosed that Gallagher said in his opening remarks that the Church must commit itself to peace.
According to him, Pope St. Paul VI stressed that peace is only achievable through dialogue, a conviction that Pope Francis upholds. The pope calls the ongoing geopolitical status globally a “Third World War.”
This includes the Russia-Ukraine armed conflict that has been going on for months and has claimed the lives of many innocent civilians. It has also displaced thousands and left millions without access to electricity, commodities, and basic social services.
Gallagher on What Peace Means
Archbishop Gallagher explained to the assembly’s participants his full definition of peace.
According to him, “ensuring peace implies first of all the total rejection of war and seeking dialogue at any cost, helping to create a climate of growing trust that guarantees the path towards a future.”
Gallagher added, “it is necessary to ensure the foundations of peace.”
The high-ranking Vatican archbishop also explained that peace “is not only the absence of conflicts but the peaceful resolution of disputes between nations, with a view to safeguarding the human rights, including the right to freedom of conscience and religion.”
The Vatican News report bared that USG comprises “Superiors General of men’s Religious Institutes or Societies of Apostolic Life, of Pontifical Right.”
The international organization first assembled in 1952 and has since served as a venue for information exchange, experience sharing, and solidarity in service.
Vatican News disclosed that USG aims to “promote the life and mission of the individual institutes at the service of the Church, for a more effective collaboration among them, and for a more fruitful contact with the Holy See and the Hierarchy.”