Declaration of Minister General of the Franciscans about the War in Iraq

Berlin, Germany (ots) - We are living in tragic times of violence and destruction. To the 24 wars already being waged, another, even more disturbing for the whole of humanity, is being added. So many people of good will, from every station in life and religion, wish to disassociate themselves from the proposals of death that offend both God and man. They are saying 'enough' to war, to violence, to overwhelming injustice and to every form of terrorism, 'enough' to the unbridled desire for power, to social injustice and to the social imbalances that are at the core of every discord and division.

We Franciscans cannot remain silent, on the fringes of this movement for life. St. Francis asks us to be makers of peace wherever we may live:

* Through fasting and penance. Hunger kills just like war, and even more than war: we must involve ourselves in fraternal sharing. St. Francis reminds us that everything comes from the one God, Father of all, and all should be shared with others as a simple duty of restitution. Fasting directed to God and to sharing is a very important instrument of peace since it helps to purify us from the thirst for possession, from all the superfluous we have, which is always a form of violence towards the poor.

* St. Francis reminds us that silence can be culpable and inaction can become a "shame". We cannot give ourselves over to a sterile resignation: the admirable example of the Holy Father, John Paul II, must spur us on to use all possible means to construct peace and reconciliation.

God our Father, You see this our earth, bloodstained by so many wars and tested by so much suffering; once again, even more than in the past, the victims of hatred are innocent civilians, women and children. We offer You this pain as a sacrifice that we unite to that of Your Son on the Cross for the redemption of the world.

Br. Giacomo Bini ofm

(abridged version)


Missionszentrale der Franziskaner

Thomas Schimmel

Tel.: 030 / 48 83 96 42

eMail: Berlin@missionszentrale.de

Internet: http://www.mzf.org