Pope Francis’ message accentuates dialogue, education, work

Ljubljana – Pope Francis’ message before the upcoming World Day of Peace, which the Catholic Church celebrates on 1 January, is entitled Dialogue between generations, education and work: means to build lasting peace. He addresses issues relating to solidarity between generations and faith in a shared future of peace.

“Despite many efforts for constructive dialogue between peoples, the deafening noise of wars and conflicts is growing, while diseases of pandemic proportions advance,” Pope Francis said in his message.

“The effects of climate change and environmental degradation are worsening, hunger and thirst are worsening, and an economic model based on individualism rather than solidarity continues to prevail,” he added.

According to Archbishop of Ljubljana Stanislav Zore, the Pope focused on three key areas for building lasting peace: dialogue and solidarity between generations, education, and work.

“The Pope believes that dialogue is the only way to make the differences between people, generations and nations an enrichment rather than a cause of division,” Zore said of the Pope’s message on Thursday.

Theologian and priest Rafko Valenčič pointed out that dialogue was also very important in the context of the situation in Slovenia. “We need to focus on a culture of unity, not division,” he said.

The Pope also highlighted the importance of education for freedom and development. He pointed out that in recent years, global budgets for education have been considerably reduced, while military expenditure has increased significantly.

This is worrying, and it is therefore important that those in positions of responsibility formulate policies that envisage a reversal of the relationship between investment in education and the funds earmarked for armaments.

Finally, the Pope also spoke about work as a means for the full realisation of human dignity, while pointing out that technical progress must not impoverish people.

Zore singled out the Pope’s emphasis that the Covid-19 global pandemic has worsened the situation of working people, who were already facing many challenges.

The Pope stressed that every person should have the opportunity to contribute to society through their work, and highlighted the importance of respecting the fundamental rights of workers.