The Deacon's Bench

The pope met the press yesterday — again — chatting with reporters on the flight to Jordan and answering a few questions about the Middle East. At one point, he was asked about how the Church might contribute to the peace process.

His answer, I think, could be applied to much more than just international relations:

I see three levels [of contribution]: As believers, we are convinced that prayer is a true force. It opens the world to God: We are convinced that God listens and that he can act in history. I think that if millions of people — believers — would pray, it could really be a force that could influence and contribute to the advancement of peace.

Second point: We try to help in the formation of consciences. The conscience is the capacity of mankind to perceive the truth, but particular interests often block this capacity. And it is a big job to liberate from these interests, to open more to the truth, to the true values: It is a duty of the Church to help one to know the true criteria, the true values, and to liberate ourselves from particular interests.

And thus, the third point, let us draw reason in as well — precisely this is it: precisely because we are not a political party, perhaps too we can more easily, with the light of faith, see the true criteria, help bring an understanding of what contributes to peace and speak to reason, to support the truly reasonable positions. And this we have already done, and we want to do so now and in the future.

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