Wednesday, January 2, 2013

World Day of Peace

Pope Benedict XVI’s annual message, World Day of Peace 2013 (link), the forty-sixth such papal message, got echoed a great deal in the mainstream media for putting “unregulated financial capitalism” into perspective. It contained, in addition, other valuations of modern life certain to cause the heathen to rage. Benedict XVI delivered the message yesterday and also quoted brief parts of it in his homily (link) during mass at St. Peter’s Basilica on New Years Day, the official World Day of Peace. There is a secular version of it too, called International Day of Peace, the creation of the United Nations, celebrated first in 1981 and always on September 21st.

Pope Paul VI ( r. 1963-1978) began this Catholic tradition but, not being a close follower of church events, I became aware of it for the first time ever late last night, when Brigitte handed me a printout—and I saw the controversy that Benedict’s message was causing in the media a mere handful of hours later. Ironic, in one sense—not in another. While peace is the aim, the process of getting there is both turbulent and seemingly everlasting.

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