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Fraternity is key to building peace, Pope says

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In a message released yesterday by the Vatican in advance of the World Day of Peace, Pope Francis, fresh off of being named the Time Magazine "Person of the Year," said that a spirit of fraternity is necessary to building peace. “In this, my first Message for the World Day of Peace,I wish to offer to everyone, individuals and peoples, my best wishes for a life filled with joy and hope,” the Pontiff said.

“In the heart of every man and woman is the desire for a full life, including that irrepressible longing for fraternity which draws us to fellowship with others and enables us to see them not as enemies or rivals, but as brothers and sisters to be accepted and embraced,” wrote the Pope.

“Peace…is an indivisible good. Either it is the good of all or it is the good of none. It can be truly attained and enjoyed, as the highest quality of life and a more human and sustainable development, only if all are guided by solidarity as ‘a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good,’” said Francis, paraphrasing the words of his predecessor Pope John Paul II.

“The lack of fraternity between peoples and men and women is a significant cause of poverty. We are concerned by the various types of hardship, marginalization, isolation and various forms of pathological dependencies which we see increasing. This kind of poverty,” the Pope declares, “can be overcome only through the rediscovery and valuing of fraternal relationships in the heart of families and communities, through the sharing of joys and sorrows, of the hardships and triumphs that are a part of human life.”

"There are also grave financial and economic crises of the present time – which find their origin in the progressive distancing of man from God and from his neighbor. The succession of economic crises should lead to a timely rethinking of our models of economic development and to a change in lifestyles,” Francis says.

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