World Day of Peace: "No longer slaves, but brothers and sisters"



"The globalization of indifference, which today burdens the lives of so many of our brothers and sisters, requires all of us to forge a new worldwide solidarity and fraternity capable of giving them new hope and helping them to advance with courage amid the problems of our time and the new horizons which they disclose and which God places in our hands."    

Pope Francis

On December 16, some hours after the Sydney hostage crisis ended, JPIC International Coordinator Anne Corry RSCJ wrote:
Today I am watching the aftermath of the Sydney hostage crisis. I know Martin Place well. It is in the centre of the city and in my mind it is always sunlit and busy with cheerful, purposeful people. This event is small compared to the scale of other parts of the world but it has left Australians devastated. They are not familiar with violence in the midst of ordinary life.
At this time of Christmas when we pray for peace on earth, let us remember all places in the world which are also devastated by sudden or sustained violence.
As we welcome 2015, we also celebrate the World Day of Peace on January 1. Pope Francis has chosen as his theme, “No longer slaves, but brothers and sisters.”  In his message, he talks about the many faces of modern-day slavery and its causes; and he calls for a shared commitment to ending slavery.  He invites us to "globalize fraternity, not slavery or indifference," and ends his message with this appeal:

I urgently appeal to all men and women of good will, and all those near or far, including the highest levels of civil institutions, who witness the scourge of contemporary slavery, not to become accomplices to this evil, not to turn away from the sufferings of our brothers and sisters, our fellow human beings, who are deprived of their freedom and dignity. Instead, may we have the courage to touch the suffering flesh of Christ, revealed in the faces of those countless persons whom he calls “the least of these my brethren” (Mt 25:40, 45). 

To read the Message of Pope Francis for the celebration of the World Day of Peace 2015, click here.