21 – ‘New Hymn for Peace’ – Encounter is the Bridge to Peace

“We looked for peace, but no good came, for a time of healing, but behold, terror.” (Jer 8:15) Who does not long for peace? But… how to achieve it in a world agitated by numerous and complex problems?
Centuries before the Lord’s birth, Isaiah had already prophetized that he would be the “Prince of Peace” (Isa 9:6). Just as their Master did, the Apostles –above all Saint Paul– always offered peace to their listeners and to the recipients of their letters. And, inspired by the Holy Spirit, Holy Mother Church has always discerned how to guide the peoples under her mantle along the paths of peace, according to the definition of the great Saint Augustine: pax tranquillitas ordinispeace is the tranquility of order (De Civitate Dei, XIX, 13).
Yes, “the tranquility of order”, because order is the proper disposition of things according to their purpose, and the purpose of all human beings is to return to God, from whence he came. Therefore, any effort made to achieve peace which forgets God…would be in vain. As the prophet expressed, no good comes of it, and the terror only increases.
While voices don’t cease to cry out –and what voices!– in favor of a peace that forgets what is the place due to God, it will greatly benefit us to delve into the enduring teachings of the Church regarding true peace.

Francis

 

Text of the New Hymn for Peace, with the words of Pope Francis

(Till the English version is released, the official Spanish version will be used here – with a literal translation alongside)

Este mensaje es de luz y esperanza (This message is of light and hope)
Luz que atraviesa la oscuridad (Light that pierces the darkness)
Nunca dejes que determine tu vida el pasado (Never let the past determine your life)
Mira siempre adelante (Always look ahead)

El futuro está en tu mente, (The future is in your mind)
En tus manos y en tu corazón (In your hands and in your heart)

Coro (Chorus):
Para que todos sean uno (That all may be one)
Ya no existen los muros (There are no more walls)
Solo el valor del encuentro (Only the value of encounter)
Que es el puente hacia la Paz (Which is the bridge to Peace)

Para que todos sean uno (That all may be one)
La unidad es el camino (Unity is the way)
Una alianza siempre abierta (An alliance always open)
Al amor y a la verdad (To love and to truth)

Cuando te encuentres ante el dolor (When you are before suffering)
Tienes que hacer lo que el corazón pide (Do what your heart asks)
Porque los gestos más auténticos (Since the mist authentic gestures)
Son los que solos vienen (Are alone that come)

El futuro está en tu mente (The future is in your mind)
En tus manos y en tu corazón (In your hands and in your heart)

Coro (Chorus):
Para que todos sean uno (That all may be one)
Ya no existen los muros
(There are no more walls)
Solo el valor del encuentro (Only the value of encounter)
Que es el puente hacia la Paz (Which is the bridge to Peace)

No renuncies a la identidad (Do not renounce your identity)
Para vivir en armonía (To live in harmony)
Para que todos sean uno (That all may be one)
La unidad es el camino (Unity is the way)

Una alianza siempre abierta (An alliance always open)
Al amor y a la verdad (
To love and to truth)

(Text: Aleteia)

Quote A

‘Para Que Todos Sean Uno’ (So We Can All Be One) is the new ‘Hymn for Peace,’ and will be edited in four languages: Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and English. The song [in Spanish] is already available at all distributors. Odino has been working for years in different humanitarian causes, and was elected in 2009 as the ‘Voice for Peace in the World’ by 23 international organisms. (Odino Faccia)

“So We Can All Be One,” distributed by Sony music, is currently available only in Spanish, but Faccia said versions are currently being produced in English, Italian, Polish, Arabic, and Portuguese. According to Faccia, Pope Francis reported to him that he “really liked the song.” (Crux)

Regarding “So We Can All Be One”, Odino Faccia comments: “We made a selection of various texts of Francis; the hymn has a clear objective – its title says a lot.”  (Vatican Radio, April 7, 2015)

A Vatican spokesman told CBS News on Tuesday that the pope saw the lyrics in advance and gave them his stamp of approval. Faccia performed the song to a huge audience in St. Peter’s Square following Palm Sunday mass on March 30. He told Italian media that the pope said he liked the performance. Faccia told Italian media that it was the pope himself who asked him to write a song dedicated to peace, using the pontiff’’s own words. (CBS News)


Teachings of the Magisterium

Table of Contents

 I – Does Peace come from the World or from the Human being?

Sacred Scripture
– Virtue favors peace
– Wisdom: a Way to live in peace
– Love for the Law of God is a font of peace
– Conflicts originate in human passions
– Christ is our peace: He has made us members of the family of God
– God wished to reconcile all things by the Blood of His Cross

Pius XII
Just and lasting peace may only be obtained through the Law of Christ, font of justice
– The true path has been lost due to a distancing from Jesus Christ both in private and public life

Benedict XVI
Without an acceptance of God there will be no peace for humanity
– Peace is a gift of God that demands a personal response consistent with God’s plan

Pius XI
– Jesus Christ brought the solution for peace in the world: the only worthwhile effort in favor of true peace is to restore the Kingdom of Christ
– The true path has been lost due to a distancing from Jesus Christ both in private and public life

Saint Thomas Aquinas
Since peace is the fruit of charity, without grace true peace cannot exist

II – Is a Peace Without Barriers the peace of Jesus Christ?

Sacred Scriptures
Jesus Christ brings division and foretold the hatred toward those who follow Him
– Jesus Christ brings division even within families
– The peace of Christ is unlike the peace of the world
– The world has hatred for those who are of Jesus Christ
– The danger of gathering together with sinners
– A heretic is not united to God and one should flee from such persons in order not to become guilty of complicity with them

John Paul II
Jesus does not simply give peace – rather, He gives His peace, which demands order and truth

Pius XI
With respect to imprudent pan-Christians remember that Saint John prohibited contact with all those who do not hold the true doctrine

Pius IX
The word of perpetual conciliation loses all things under the pretext of saving all

Saint Augustine
Those who love the world delude themselves with false peace in order to enjoy their beloved world

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Relativistic theories consider the missionary proclamation of the Church to be dangerous to peace

III- Does Encounter Produce Only Good Results Always?

Sacred Scriptures
The danger of harming one’s own faith

Paul VI
– The apostolate is under constant fire – obligation of the apostle to remain unaffected by errors
– The imminent peril of becoming lost in the midst of the present transformations obliges one to deepen knowledge of the Church according to Scripture and Tradition

Pius XII
Even under the pretext of promoting unity one may not hide the truth

Pius XI
In order to attract the multitudes, the enemies of the Church invite Catholics to collaborate with them in the realms of ‘humanitarianism’, charity and peace

Pius IX
Christian charity demands that those separated from the Catholic Church be rescued from darkness and errors
– Those who attract the imprudent friends of conciliation are more dangerous than declared enemies

Saint Thomas Aquinas
– The simple faithful should not communicate With unbelievers for fear of their own perversion

IV- The Serious Duty of Preaching the True Doctrine Regarding Peace and its Relation to God

Sacred Scriptures
The serious duty of being entirely united to Our Lord Jesus Christ
– Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!
– How may one believe if no one preaches?
– If the Word of God is not proclaimed, people will cease to hear the truth and be diverted to myths

Vatican Council I
The Church has the duty to ban error so that no one go astray

Saint Pius X
Peace ill only come about through the light of reason directed by the knowledge of divine
– The gravest duty of the pastor is to instruct the faithful

Saint Gregory the Great
He who refuses to feed the flock of God does not love the Supreme Shepherd

John Paul II
Blurring the boundaries between the Church and the world constitutes a grave error
– The constant temptation to seek an illusionary liberty outside of the truth

Leo XIII
Keeping silence is proper to the coward and those who doubt the truth – and it is injurious to God

Saint John Chrysostom
He who has the authority to teach, and does not, transgress the Law

 I – Does Peace come from the World or from the Human being?

 Sacred Scriptures

  • Virtue favors peace

When the Lord is pleased with a man’s ways, he makes even his enemies be at peace with him.  (Prov 16:7)

  •  Wisdom: a Way to live in peace

Happy the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding! Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.  (Prov 3: 13.17)

  •  Love for the Law of God is a font of peace

Great peace have those who love thy law; nothing can make them stumble. (Ps 119:165)

  •  Conflicts originate in human passions 

Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from? Is it not from your passions that make war within your members? You covet but do not possess. You kill and envy but you cannot obtain; you fight and wage war. You do not possess because you do not ask.You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. Adulterers! Do you not know that to be a lover of the world means enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wants to be a lover of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose that the scripture speaks without meaning when it says, “The spirit that he has made to dwell in us tends toward jealousy”? But he bestows a greater grace; therefore, it says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” So submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you of two minds. Begin to lament, to mourn, to weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.  (Jas 4:1-10)

  • Christ is our peace: He has made us members of the family of God

 For he is our peace, he who made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his flesh, abolishing the law with its commandments and legal claims, that he might create in himself one new person in place of the two, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile both with God, in one body, through the cross, putting that enmity to death by it. He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.  (Eph 2:14-20)

  • God wished to reconcile all things by the Blood of His Cross

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross (through him), whether those on earth or those in heaven.  (Col 1:17-20)

Pius XII

  • Just and lasting peace may only be obtained through the Law of Christ, font of justice

Meanwhile, in accordance with your office, give notice to the faithful of this our paternal invitation; recall to them once more from what principles a just and lasting peace may issue and by what means it must be sought. Indeed, as you well know, it can only be obtained from the principles and norms dictated by Christ and put into practice with sincere piety. Such principles and norms, in fact, recall men to truth, justice and charity; they put a restraint on their unruly desires; they force the senses to be obedient to reason; they move the reason to obey God; they produce this effect, that all men, even those who are rulers of the peoples, may recognize the freedom that is due to religion, which, beyond its primary purpose of leading souls to eternal salvation, has also another, of safeguarding and protecting the very foundations of the State. (Pius XII. Encylcical Summu Maeroris, On Public Prayers for Peace, July 19 1950)

  • The true path has been lost due to a distancing from Jesus Christ both in private and public life

Let all remember that the flood of evil and disaster that has over-taken the world in past years was due chiefly to the fact that the divine religion of Jesus Christ, that provider of mutual charity among citizens, peoples and nations, did not govern, as it should, private, domestic and public life. If things have gone wrong on account of the desertion from Christ, public and private life must return to Him as soon as possible: if error has clouded the minds of men, they must return to that truth which, revealed from on high, indicates the right way to heaven: if hatred has brought them fatal results, they must return to Christian love which alone can heal their many wounds, and carry them over the crisis so filled with danger.  (Pius XII. Encylcial Optatissima Pax, no. 7, December 18, 1947)

Benedict XVI

  • Without an acceptance of God there will be no peace for humanity

 Consequently, it is essential that we should all be committed to living our lives in an attitude of responsibility before God, acknowledging him as the deepest source of our own existence and that of others. By going back to this supreme principle we are able to perceive the unconditional worth of each human being, and thus to lay the premises for building a humanity at peace. Without this transcendent foundation society is a mere aggregation of neighbours, not a community of brothers and sisters called to form one great family. (Benedict XVI, Message for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace, January 1, 2008)

  • Peace is a gift of God that demands a personal response consistent with God’s plan

Likewise, peace is both gift and task. If it is true that peace between individuals and peoples—the ability to live together and to build relationships of justice and solidarity—calls for unfailing commitment on our part, it is also true, and indeed more so, that peace is a gift from God. Peace is an aspect of God’s activity, made manifest both in the creation of an orderly and harmonious universe and also in the redemption of humanity that needs to be rescued from the disorder of sin. Creation and Redemption thus provide a key that helps us begin to understand the meaning of our life on earth. My venerable predecessor Pope John Paul II, addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations on October 5, 1995, stated that “we do not live in an irrational or meaningless world… there is a moral logic which is built into human life and which makes possible dialogue between individuals and peoples.” The transcendent “grammar”, that is to say the body of rules for individual action and the reciprocal relationships of persons in accordance with justice and solidarity, is inscribed on human consciences, in which the wise plan of God is reflected. As I recently had occasion to reaffirm: “we believe that at the beginning of everything is the Eternal Word, Reason and not Unreason.” Peace is thus also a task demanding of everyone a personal response consistent with God’s plan. The criterion inspiring this response can only be respect for the “grammar” written on human hearts by the divine Creator. (Benedict XVI. Message for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace, January 1, 2007)

Pius XI

  • Jesus Christ brought the solution for peace in the world: the only worthwhile effort in favor of true peace is to restore the Kingdom of Christ

First and most important of all, for mankind is the need of spiritual peace. We do not need a peace that will consist merely in acts of external or formal courtesy, but a peace which will penetrate the souls of men and which will unite, heal, and reopen their hearts to that mutual affection which is born of brotherly love. The peace of Christ is the only peace answering this description: “Let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts.” (Col 3:15) Nor is there any other peace possible than that which Christ gave to His disciples (John 14:27) for since He is God, He “beholdeth the heart” (1Kings 16:7) and in our hearts His kingdom is set up. Again, Jesus Christ is perfectly justified when He calls this peace of soul His own for He was the first Who said to men, “all you are brethren.” (Mt 23: 8) He gave likewise to us, sealing it with His own life’s blood, the law of brotherly love, of mutual forbearance – “This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15:12) “Bear ye one another’s burdens; and so you shall fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal 6:2) […]Of this peace of Christ, which dwells in our hearts and is, in effect, the love of God, we can repeat what the Apostle has said of the kingdom of God which also rules by love – “the kingdom of Christ is not meat and drink.” (Rom 14:17) In other words, the peace of Christ is not nourished on the things of earth, but on those of heaven. Nor could it well be otherwise, since it is Jesus Christ Who has revealed to the world the existence of spiritual values and has obtained for them their due appreciation. He has said, “For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul?” (Mt 16:26) He also taught us a divine lesson of courage and constancy when He said, “Fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Mt 10:28, Lk 12:14) This peace of Christ, however, surpasses all human understanding – “the peace of God which surpasseth all understanding” (Phil 4:7), and for this very reason dominates our sinful passions and renders such evils as division, strife, and discord, which result solely from the unrestrained desire for earthly possessions, impossible. If the desire for worldly possessions were kept within bounds and the place of honor in our affections given to the things of the spirit, which place undoubtedly they deserve, the peace of Christ would follow immediately, to which would be joined in a natural and happy union, as it were, a higher regard for the value and dignity of human life. Human personality, too, would be raised to a higher level, for man has been ennobled by the Blood of Christ and made kin to God Himself. […] We have already seen and come to the conclusion that the principal cause of the confusion, restlessness, and dangers which are so prominent a characteristic of false peace is the weakening of the binding force of law and lack of respect for authority, effects which logically follow upon denial of the truth that authority comes from God, the Creator and Universal Law-giver.The only remedy for such state of affairs is the peace of Christ since the peace of Christ is the peace of God, which could not exist if it did not enjoin respect for law, order, and the rights of authority. In the Holy Scriptures We read: “My children, keep discipline in peace.” (Sir 41:17) […] Jesus Christ very expressly states: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.” (Mt 22: 21) He even recognized that Pilate possessed authority from on High (Jn 14:11) as he acknowledged that the scribes and Pharisees who though unworthy sat in the chair of Moses (Mt 23: 2) […] If we stop to reflect for a moment that these ideals and doctrines of Jesus Christ, for example, his teachings on the necessity and value of the spiritual life, on the dignity and sanctity of human life, on the duty of obedience, on the divine basis of human government, on the sacramental character of matrimony and by consequence the sanctity of family life – if we stop to reflect, let Us repeat, that these ideals and doctrines of Christ (which are in fact but a portion of the treasury of truth which He left to mankind) were confided by Him to His Church and to her alone for safekeeping, and that He has promised that His aid will never fail her at any time for she is the infallible teacher of His doctrines in every century and before all nations, there is no one who cannot clearly see what a singularly important role the Catholic Church is able to play, and is even called upon to assume, in providing a remedy for the ills which afflict the world today and in leading mankind toward a universal peace. […] Since the Church is the safe and sure guide to conscience, for to her safe-keeping alone there has been confided the doctrines and the promise of the assistance of Christ, she is able not only to bring about at the present hour a peace that is truly the peace of Christ, but can, better than any other agency which We know of, contribute greatly to the securing of the same peace for the future. […] An attempt in this direction has already and is now being made; its results, however, are almost negligible and, especially so, as far as they can be said to affect those major questions which divide seriously and serve to arouse nations one against the other. No merely human institution of today can be as successful in devising a set of international laws which will be in harmony with world conditions […] There exists an institution able to safeguard the sanctity of the law of nations. This institution is a part of every nation; at the same time it is above all nations. She enjoys, too, the highest authority, the fullness of the teaching power of the Apostles. Such an institution is the Church of Christ. She alone is adapted to do this great work, for she is not only divinely commissioned to lead mankind, but moreover, because of her very make-up and the constitution which she possesses, by reason of her age-old traditions and her great prestige, which has not been lessened but has been greatly increased since the close of the War, cannot but succeed in such a venture where others assuredly will fail.It is apparent from these considerations that true peace, the peace of Christ, is impossible unless we are willing and ready to accept the fundamental principles of Christianity, unless we are willing to observe the teachings and obey the law of Christ, both in public and private life. If this were done, then society being placed at last on a sound foundation, the Church would be able, in the exercise of its divinely given ministry and by means of the teaching authority which results therefrom, to protect all the rights of God over men and nations. […] It is, therefore, a fact which cannot be questioned that the true peace of Christ can only exist in the Kingdom of Christ – “the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ.” It is no less unquestionable that, in doing all we can to bring about the re-establishment of Christ’s kingdom, we will be working most effectively toward a lasting world peace. (Pius XI. Encyclical Ubi Arcano dei Consilio, On the Peace of Christ, December 23, 1922)

Saint Thomas Aquinas

  • Since peace is the fruit of charity, without grace true peace cannot exist

Peace implies a twofold union, as stated above. The first is the result of one’s own appetites being directed to one object; while the other results from one’s own appetite being united with the appetite of another: and each of these unions is effected by charity —the first, in so far as man loves God with his whole heart, by referring all things to Him, so that all his desires tend to one object— the second, in so far as we love our neighbor as ourselves, the result being that we wish to fulfil our neighbor’s will as though it were ours.Without sin no one falls from a state of sanctifying grace, for it turns man away from his due end by making him place his end in something undue: so that his appetite does not cleave chiefly to the true final good, but to some apparent good. Hence, without sanctifying grace, peace is not real but merely apparent. (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 29, a.3, co. /ad1)

II – Is a Peace Without Barriers the peace of Jesus Christ?

Sacred Scriptures

  • Jesus Christ brings division and foretold the hatred toward those who follow Him

Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man ‘against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household. (Mt 10:34-36)

  • Jesus Christ brings division even within families

Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.  (Lk 12:51-53)

  •  The peace of Christ is unlike the peace of the world

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. (Jn 14: 27)

  • The world has hatred for those who are of Jesus Christ

If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. (Jn 15: 18-19)

  • The danger of gathering together with sinners

But I now write to you not to associate with anyone named a brother, if he is immoral, greedy, an idolater, a slanderer, a drunkard, or a robber, not even to eat with such a person. For why should I be judging outsiders? Is it not your business to judge those within? God will judge those outside. Purge the evil person from your midst.  (1 Cor 5:9-13)

  • A heretic is not united to God and one should flee from such persons in order not to become guilty of complicity with them

Anyone who is so “progressive” as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God; whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him in your house or even greet him; for whoever greets him shares in his evil works. (2Jn 9-11)

John Paul II

  • Jesus does not simply give peace – rather, He gives His peace, which demands order and truth

Justice goes hand in hand with peace and is permanently and actively linked to peace. Justice and peace seek the good of one and all, and for this reason they demand order and truth. When one is threatened, both falter; when justice is offended, peace is also placed in jeopardy.[…] By virtue of their faith in the God who is love and of their sharing in Christ’s universal redemption, Christians are called to act justly and to live in peace with all, for “Jesus does not merely give us peace. He gives us his Peace accompanied by his Justice. He is Peace and Justice. He becomes our Peace and our Justice”. I said these words almost twenty years ago, but against the backdrop of the radical changes now taking place they assume an even more specific and vital meaning.[…] The heart of the Gospel message is Christ, who is everyone’s peace and reconciliation.  (John Paul II. Message for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace, January 1, 1998)

Pius XI

  • With respect to imprudent pan-Christians remember that Saint John prohibited contact with all those who do not hold the true doctrine

These pan-Christians who turn their minds to uniting the churches seem, indeed, to pursue the noblest of ideas in promoting charity among all Christians: nevertheless how does it happen that this charity tends to injure faith? Everyone knows that John himself, the Apostle of love, who seems to reveal in his Gospel the secrets of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and who never ceased to impress on the memories of his followers the new commandment “Love one another,” altogether forbade any intercourse with those who professed a mutilated and corrupt version of Christ’s teaching: “If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him: God speed you.” For which reason, since charity is based on a complete and sincere faith, the disciples of Christ must be united principally by the bond of one faith. (Pius XI. Encyclical Mortalium animos, January 6, 1928)

Pius IX

  • The word of perpetual conciliation loses all things under the pretext of saving all

In these times of confusion and disorder, it is not unusual to see Christians, Catholics – even within the secular clergy and cloisters – who constantly have a word of conformity, of conciliation and negotiation on their lips. Very well! I do not hesitate to declare: these men are in error, and do not consider them to be the lesser enemies of the Church. We live in a corrupt and pestilent atmosphere and we must know how to preserve ourselves from it. Let us not allow ourselves to be contaminated by false doctrines, which lose all things under the pretext of saving all. (Pius IX, Speech in the Church of Aracoeli, September 17, 1861)

Saint Augustine

  • Those who love the world delude themselves with false peace in order to enjoy their beloved world

But when the Lord proceeded to say, “Not as the world gives, give I unto you,” what else does He mean but, Not as those give who love the world, give I unto you? For their aim in giving themselves peace is that, exempt from the annoyance of lawsuits and wars, they may find enjoyment, not in God, but in the friendship of the world; and although they give the righteous peace, in ceasing to persecute them, there can be no true peace where there is no real harmony, because their hearts are at variance. For as one is called a consort who unites his lot (sortem) with another, so may he be termed concordant whose heart has entered into a similar union. Let us, therefore, beloved, with whom Christ leaves peace, and to whom He gives His own peace, not after the world’s way, but in a way worthy of Him by whom the world was made, that we should be of one heart with Himself, having our hearts run into one, that this one heart, set on that which is above, may escape the corruption of the earth. (Saint Augustine. Tractates on the Gospel of Saint John, no.5)

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

  • Relativistic theories consider the missionary proclamation of the Church to be dangerous to peace

However, the Church’s “missionary proclamation is endangered today by relativistic theories which seek to justify religious pluralism, not only de facto but also de iure (or in principle)” (cf. Dominus Jesus, no.4). For a long time, the reason for evangelization has not been clear to many among the Catholic faithful (Evangelii Nuntiadi, no. 80). It is even stated that the claim to have received the gift of the fullness of God’s revelation masks an attitude of intolerance and a danger to peace. (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Doctrinal Note on Some Aspects of Evangelization, December 3, 2007)

III- Does Encounter Produce Only Good Results Always?

Sacred Scripture

  • The danger of harming one’s own faith

Do you not know that a little yeast leavens all the dough?  (1Cor 5:6)

Paul VI

  • The apostolate is under constant fire – obligation of the apostle to remain unaffected by errors

But the danger remains. Indeed, the worker in the apostolate is under constant fire. The desire to come together as brothers must not lead to a watering down or whittling away of truth. Our dialogue must not weaken our attachment to our faith. Our apostolate must not make vague compromises concerning the principles which regulate and govern the profession of the Christian faith both in theory and in practice.An immoderate desire to make peace and sink differences at all costs (irenism and syncretism) is ultimately nothing more than skepticism about the power and content of the Word of God which we desire to preach. The effective apostle is the man who is completely faithful to Christ’s teaching. He alone can remain unaffected by the errors of the world around him, the man who lives his Christian life to the full.  (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam Suam, no. 88, August 6, 1964)

  • The imminent peril of becoming lost in the midst of the present transformations obliges one to deepen knowledge of the Church according to Scripture and Tradition

But we also know that the modern world is in the grip of change and upheaval. It is undergoing developments which are having a profound influence on its outward way of life and habits of thought. The great advances made in science, technology, and social life, and the various currents of philosophical and political thought pervading modern society, are greatly influencing men’s opinions and their spiritual and cultural pursuits. The Church itself is being engulfed and shaken by this tidal wave of change, for however much men may be committed to the Church, they are deeply affected by the climate of the world. They run the risk of becoming confused, bewildered and alarmed, and this is a state of affairs which strikes at the very roots of the Church. It drives many people to adopt the most outlandish views. They imagine that the Church should abdicate its proper role, and adopt an entirely new and unprecedented mode of existence.[…] An effective remedy is needed if all these dangers, which are prevalent in many quarters, are to be obviated, and We believe that such a remedy is to be found in an increased self-awareness on the part of the Church. The Church must get a clearer idea of what it really is in the mind of Jesus Christ as recorded and preserved in Sacred Scripture and in Apostolic Tradition, and interpreted and explained by the tradition of the Church under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit.  (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam Suam, no. 26, August 6, 1964)

Pius XII

  • Even under the pretext of promoting unity one may not hide the truth

Even on the plea of promoting unity it is not allowed to dissemble one single dogma; for, as the Patriarch of Alexandria warns us, “although the desire of peace is a noble and excellent thing, yet we must not for its sake neglect the virtue of loyalty in Christ.”  (Pius XII. Encyclical Orientalis Ecclesiae, April 9, 1944).

Pius XI

  • In order to attract the multitudes, the enemies of the Church invite Catholics to collaborate with them in the realms of ‘humanitarianism’, charity and peace

In the beginning Communism showed itself for what it was in all its perversity; but very soon it realized that it was thus alienating the people. It has therefore changed its tactics, and strives to entice the multitudes by trickery of various forms, hiding its real designs behind ideas that in themselves are good and attractive. Thus, aware of the universal desire for peace, the leaders of Communism pretend to be the most zealous promoters and propagandists in the movement for world amity. Yet at the same time they stir up a class-warfare which causes rivers of blood to flow, and, realizing that their system offers no internal guarantee of peace, they have recourse to unlimited armaments. Under various names which do not suggest Communism, they establish organizations and periodicals with the sole purpose of carrying their ideas into quarters otherwise inaccessible. They try perfidiously to worm their way even into professedly Catholic and religious organizations. Again, without receding an inch from their subversive principles, they invite Catholics to collaborate with them in the realm of so-called humanitarianism and charity; and at times even make proposals that are in perfect harmony with the Christian spirit and the doctrine of the Church.[…] See to it, Venerable Brethren, that the Faithful do not allow themselves to be deceived! Communism is intrinsically wrong, and no one who would save Christian civilization may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever.  (Piux XI. Encyclical Divini Redemptoris, on atheistic communism, March 19,1937)

 Pius IX

  • Christian charity demands that those separated from the Catholic Church be rescued from darkness and errors

God forbid that the children of the Catholic Church should even in any way be unfriendly to those who are not at all united to us by the same bonds of faith and love. On the contrary, let them be eager always to attend to their needs with all the kind services of Christian charity, whether they are poor or sick or suffering any other kind of visitation. First of all, let them rescue them from the darkness of the errors into which they have unhappily fallen and strive to guide them back to Catholic truth and to their most loving Mother who is ever holding out her maternal arms to receive them lovingly back into her fold. Thus, firmly founded in faith, hope, and charity and fruitful in every good work, they will gain eternal salvation. (Pius IX. Encyclical Quanto Conficiamur Moerore, August 10, 1863)

  • Those who attract the imprudent friends of conciliation are more dangerous than declared enemies

Even though the sons of this world are wiser than the sons of light (Lk 16:8), their malevolence and aggression would have been less effective if it were not for the help offered by many friendly hands of the Catholic flock. It wouldn’t have been as easy, as they had wished, to join the same bandwagon, to struggle to unite light and darkness and to make iniquity partake with justice, if it wasn’t for the so-called liberal-catholic doctrines, which, based on the most pernicious principles, have given advantages to the lay power at the same moment in which the latter intruded into the spiritual dominian, inclining the spirit to submission, or at least to tolerance, before the most iniquitous laws, as though it had not been written that ‘no servant can serve two masters’ (Lk 16:13). This type of people are, without any doubt, more dangerous and injurious than declared enemies, for, without calling attention and without, perhaps, putting themselves on guard, they go along with the manoevres of the latter. On the other hand, maintaining themselves just within the limits of clearly condemned opinions, they give the impression of an irreproachable doctrine thus attracting the imprudent adherers of reconciliation and deceiving honest people who would reject declared error. In this way spirits are divided, unity is destroyed, and the strength of those who should be united against the adversary is weakened.  (Pius IX. Per Trisstisima – Brief addressed to the Circle of Saint Ambrose of Milan, March 6, 1873)

Saint Thomas Aquinas

  • The simple faithful should not communicate With unbelievers for fear of their own perversion

I answer that, Communication with a particular person is forbidden to the faithful, in two ways: first, as a punishment of the person with whom they are forbidden to communicate; secondly, for the safety of those who are forbidden to communicate with others. Both motives can be gathered from the Apostle’s words. […] With regard to the second way, it seems that one ought to distinguish according to the various conditions of persons, circumstances and time. For some are firm in the faith; and so it is to be hoped that their communicating with unbelievers will lead to the conversion of the latter rather than to the aversion of the faithful from the faith. These are not to be forbidden to communicate with unbelievers who have not received the faith, such as pagans or Jews, especially if there be some urgent necessity for so doing. But in the case of simple people and those who are weak in the faith, whose perversion is to be feared as a probable result, they should be forbidden to communicate with unbelievers, and especially to be on very familiar terms with them, or to communicate with them without necessity. (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica II-II, q.10, a.9)

IV- The Serious Duty of Preaching the True Doctrine Regarding Peace and its Relation to God

Sacred Scripture

  • The serious duty of being entirely united to Our Lord Jesus Christ

Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.  (Mt 12:30, Lk 11:23)

  •  Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!

 If I preach the gospel, this is no reason for me to boast, for an obligation has been imposed on me, and woe to me if I do not preach it! If I do so willingly, I have a recompense, but if unwillingly, then I have been entrusted with a stewardship.  (1Cor 9:16-17)

  •  How may one believe if no one preaches?

But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? […] Thus faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.  (Rom 10:14.17)

  • If the Word of God is not proclaimed, people will cease to hear the truth and be diverted to myths

 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power: proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching. For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths. But you, be self-possessed in all circumstances; put up with hardship; perform the work of an evangelist; fulfill your ministry.  (2Tim 4:1-5)

Vatican Council I

  • The Church has the duty to ban error so that no one go astray

Further, the Church which, together with the apostolic duty of teaching, has received the command to guard the deposit of faith, has also, from divine Providence, the right and duty of proscribing “knowledge falsely so called” (1Tm 6:20), “lest anyone be cheated by philosophy and vain deceit” (cf. Col 2,8).  (Denzinger-Hünermann 3018. Vatican Council I, Dogmatic Constituition Dei Filius, on the Catholic Faith, April 24, 1870)

Pius X

  • Peace ill only come about through the light of reason directed by the knowledge of divine

We are forced to agree with those who hold that the chief cause of the present indifference and, as it were, infirmity of soul, and the serious evils that result from it, is to be found above all in ignorance of things divine. This is fully in accord with what God Himself declared through the Prophet Hosea: “And there is no knowledge of God in the land. Cursing and lying and killing and theft and adultery have overflowed: and blood hath touched blood. Thereafter shall the land mourn, and everyone that dwelleth in it shall languish.”(Hos 4:1-3) […] The Apostle Paul, writing to the Ephesians, repeatedly admonished them in these words: “But immorality and every uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as become saints; or obscenity or foolish talk.” (Eph 5:34) He also places the foundation of holiness and sound morals upon a knowledge of divine things – which holds in check evil desires: “See to it therefore, brethren, that you walk with care: not as unwise but as wise. . . Therefore, do not become foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Eph 5:15-16) […] And rightly so. For the will of man retains but little of that divinely implanted love of virtue and righteousness by which it was, as it were, attracted strongly toward the real and not merely apparent good. Disordered by the stain of the first sin, and almost forgetful of God, its Author, it improperly turns every affection to a love of vanity and deceit. This erring will, blinded by its own evil desires, has need therefore of a guide to lead it back to the paths of justice whence it has so unfortunately strayed. The intellect itself is this guide, which need not be sought elsewhere, but is provided by nature itself. It is a guide, though, that, if it lack its companion light, the knowledge of divine things, will be only an instance of the blind leading the blind so that both will fall into the pit […] The truly remarkable dignity of man as the son of the heavenly Father, in Whose image he is formed, and with Whom he is destined to live in eternal happiness, is also revealed only by the doctrine of Jesus Christ. From this very dignity, and from man’s knowledge of it, Christ showed that men should love one another as brothers, and should live here as become children of light, “not of revelry and drunkenness, not in debauchery and wantonness, not in strife and jealousy.” (Rm 13:13) He also bids us to place all our anxiety and care in the hands of God, for He will provide for us; He tells us to help the poor, to do good to those who hate us, and to prefer the eternal welfare of the soul to the temporal goods of this life.[…] The will cannot be upright nor the conduct good when the mind is shrouded in the darkness of crass ignorance. A man who walks with open eyes may, indeed, turn aside from the right path, but a blind man is in much more imminent danger of wandering away.  (Saint Pius X. Encyclical Acerbo Nimis, on the Teaching of Christian Doctrine, April 15, 1905)

  •  The gravest duty of the pastor is to instruct the faithful

We must now consider upon whom rests the obligation to dissipate this most pernicious ignorance and to impart in its stead the knowledge that is wholly indispensable. There can be no doubt, Venerable Brethren, that this most important duty rests upon all who are pastors of souls. On them, by command of Christ, rest the obligations of knowing and of feeding the flocks committed to their care; and to feed implies, first of all, to teach. “I will give you pastors according to my own heart,” God promised through Jeremiah, “and they shall feed you with knowledge and doctrine.”(Jer 3:15) Hence the Apostle Paul said: “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel,” (1Cor 1:17) thereby indicating that the first duty of all those who are entrusted in any way with the government of the Church is to instruct the faithful in the things of God. […] If, assuredly, the alms with which we relieve the needs of the poor are highly praised by the Lord, how much more precious in His eyes, then, will be the zeal and labor expended in teaching and admonishing, by which we provide not for the passing needs of the body but for the eternal profit of the soul! […] Here then it is well to emphasize and insist that for a priest there is no duty more grave or obligation more binding than this. Who, indeed, will deny that knowledge should be joined to holiness of life in the priest? “For the lips of the priest shall keep knowledge.”(Mal 2:7) For this reason the Council of Trent, treating of the duties of pastors of souls, decreed that their first and most important work is the instruction of the faithful. (Sess. V, cap. 2, De Reform.; Sess. XXII, cap. 8; Sess. XXIV, cap. 4 & 7, De Reform.) Thus wrote the Apostle: “Faith then depends on hearing, and hearing on the word of Christ”;( Rom 10:17) and to show the necessity of instruction, he added, “How are they to hear, if no one preaches?”(Rom 10:14). (Saint Pius X. Encyclical Acerbo Nimis, on the Teaching of Christian Doctrine, April 15, 1905)

Gregory the Great

  • He who refuses to feed the flock of God does not love the Supreme Shepherd

For hence it was that the Truth said to His disciples: “A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid: neither do they light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that it may give light to all that are in the house”. (Mt 5:15) Hence He says to Peter: “Simon, Son of Jonas, lovest thou Me?” (Jn 15:16-17); and he, when he had at once answered that he loved, was told: “If thou lovest Me, fled My sheep.” If, then, the care of feeding is the proof of loving, whosoever abounds in virtues, and yet refuses to feed the flock of God, is convicted of not loving the chief Shepherd.  (Saint Gregory the Great. Pastoral Rule, Book I, c V)

John Paul II

  • Blurring the boundaries between the Church and the world constitutes a grave error

The underlying question concerns the relationship between the Church and the world. […] The advanced secularization of society brings with it a tendency to blur the boundaries between the Church and the world. Certain aspects of the prevailing culture are allowed to condition the Christian community in ways which the Gospel does not permit.[…] This often goes hand in hand with an uncritical approach to the problem of moral evil, and a reluctance to recognize the reality of sin and the need for forgiveness. This attitude embodies a too optimistic view of modernity, together with an uneasiness about the Cross and its implications for Christian living. The past is too easily dismissed, and the horizontal is so stressed that the sense of the supernatural grows weak.  (John Paul II. Address to the Bishops of Australia on their ad limina visit, December 14, 1998)

  • The constant temptation to seek an illusionary liberty outside of the truth

As a result of that mysterious original sin, committed at the prompting of Satan, the one who is “a liar and the father of lies” (Jn 8:44), man is constantly tempted to turn his gaze away from the living and true God in order to direct it towards idols (cf. 1 Thes 1:9), exchanging “the truth about God for a lie” (Rom 1:25). Man’s capacity to know the truth is also darkened, and his will to submit to it is weakened. Thus, giving himself over to relativism and scepticism (cf. Jn 18:38), he goes off in search of an illusory freedom apart from truth itself. But no darkness of error or of sin can totally take away from man the light of God the Creator. In the depths of his heart there always remains a yearning for absolute truth and a thirst to attain full knowledge of it. (John Paul II. Encyclical Veritatis Splendor, no.1, August 6, 1993)

Leo XIII

  • Keeping silence is proper to the coward and those who doubt the truth – and it is injurious to God

But, when necessity compels, not those only who are invested with power of rule are bound to safeguard the integrity of faith, but, as Saint Thomas maintains: “Each one is under obligation to show forth his faith, either to instruct and encourage others of the faithful, or to repel the attacks of unbelievers.”(12) To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth, is the part of a man either devoid of character or who entertains doubt as to the truth of what he professes to believe. In both cases such mode of behaving is base and is insulting to God, and both are incompatible with the salvation of mankind. This kind of conduct is profitable only to the enemies of the faith, for nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good.   (Leo XIII. Encyclical Sapientiae Cristianae, no.14, January 10, 1890)

Saint John Chrysostom

  • He who has the authority to teach, and does not, transgress the Law

 But see whence He begins, and whence He aggravates His blame of them. “For they say,” He saith, and do not. For every one is worthy of blame in transgressing the law, but especially he that bears the authority of teaching, for doubly and triply doth he deserve to be condemned. For one cause, because he transgresses; for another, that as he ought to amend others, and then halteth, he is worthy of a double punishment, because of his dignity; and in the third place, that he even corrupts the more, as committing such transgression in a teacher’s place.  (Saint John Chrysostom. Homily LXXII on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, no.72)


Published on the Spanish Page a day after the publication of the above study:

Breaking News!!!

Odino Faccia, co-author together with Pope Francis of the Hymn for Peace, supports and spreads this study.

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One thought on “21 – ‘New Hymn for Peace’ – Encounter is the Bridge to Peace

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