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Primo Mazzolari: Fr. Bignami (Foundation), “he opened a path then undertaken by the Church”

“What remains of Fr. Mazzolari’s message?”, Fr. Bignami asked in his address in Paris. “First of all, we need to acknowledge that his voice was echoed in the Church’s teaching. Think of the encyclical Pacem in Terris by John XXIII (1963) and the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution Gaudium et Spes (1965). They no longer refer to the concept of ‘just war’ and seem to suggest a new way of addressing the issue of peace”. There is “a new vision of the relations among peoples, in terms of ‘interdependence’ of the human community”. “We can say that Fr. Mazzolari was able to open a path that only after his death, in 1959, the Church had the courage to undertake”. A century on from the end of World War I, “it would be interesting to read Fr. Mazzolari’s message alongside the homily delivered by Pope Francis at the Military Memorial of Redipuglia on 13 September 2014. He said: ‘War ruins everything, even the bonds between brothers. War is irrational; its only plan is to bring destruction: it seeks to grow by destroying’. Fr. Mazzolari “has still something to say, even to us who are meeting at the UNESCO headquarters at a time when we are witnessing a ‘piecemeal’ war in many regions of the world. We cannot close our eyes and forget the suffering and injustice that fuel the thirst for revenge”. Peace “is based on the recognition that the other is my brother. Only then will our hearts disarm and arms stockpiles lose their value”.

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