Be bridges for peace, Pope Francis urges Hispanic ministry congress

CNA Staff   By CNA Staff


Pope Francis delivers the Regina Caeli address, April 24, 2022. / Vatican Media

Arlington, Va., Apr 26, 2022 / 16:17 pm (CNA).

In a video message to the Tuesday opening of a gathering for Hispanic ministry leaders in the US, Pope Francis encouraged that they be and build bridges for peace and unity.

“I invite you to reflect on the need to be Christians who transform the structure and who can create bridges in all sectors of society, illuminating thought, so that it may lead to actions that can bring peace and unity at all levels, starting from our families and communities,” the pope said in his April 26 message for the Sixth National Leadership Congress on Hispanic Ministry, being held in Arlington, Virginia.

The theme of the April 26-30 gathering, which is hosted by the National Catholic Council for Hispanic Ministry, is “Prophetic Voices: Being bridges for a new era”.

While the theme “sounds a bit grand,” it “is important,” Pope Francis noted in his address.

“You have chosen a good theme, in this absurd time in which, without having yet come out of a pandemic that has afflicted all humanity with great suffering and sorrow, we find ourselves in the midst of the suffering and tragedy of a war,” he said.

“Every war is born of injustice, every war, including those that at times we wage in our families and communities, that are fought in silence; they too are born of injustice. It is sad to see that humanity is not capable of thinking with mindsets and plans of peace. We all think with mindsets of war … Brotherhood is for all, and it is made manifest in mindsets that change the life of families, communities, peoples, nations and the world.”

Christians are to “set the example” for the peace that we all need, the pope stated.

“I ask you to be bridges, to create bridges, to pray and work for peace,” he concluded.

The congress will include discussions on family, youth ministry, social justice, and pastoral formation. Meetings with national legislators will be held to encourage immigration reform. The apostolic nuncio to the US, Archbishop Christoph Pierre, is addressing the gathering.

A report from the meeting is to be presented to the US Conference of Catholic bishops as the conference prepares a national pastoral plan for Hispanic ministry.

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