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Fight the coronavirus, not each other!

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Even now, as the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to attack humanity, so many human beings continue to fight each other.

Challenging this terrible reality, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a heartfelt appeal for a global ceasefire (see: https://bit.ly/2K8aOJZ). Inspiringly he said, “Our world faces a common enemy: COVID-19. The virus does not care about nationality or ethnicity, faction or faith. It attacks all, relentlessly.

“Meanwhile, armed conflict rages on around the world. The most vulnerable – women and children, people with disabilities, the marginalized and the displaced – pay the highest price. They are also at the highest risk of suffering devastating losses from COVID-19. Let’s not forget that in war-ravaged countries, health systems have collapsed.... 

“It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives.”

Then in prophetic-like speech, Guterres boldly declared, “To warring parties, I say: Pull back from hostilities. Put aside mistrust and animosity. Silence the guns; stop the artillery; end the airstrikes.”

He pleaded, “End the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world. It starts by stopping the fighting everywhere. Now. That is what our human family needs, now more than ever”

Can we all say “Amen!” to that?

Endorsing the Secretary-General’s appeal Pope Francis said, “I join all those that have listened to this appeal and I invite all to follow it up, halting all forms of warlike hostility.”

The Holy Father added that he hoped that the joint commitment against the coronavirus pandemic, would help all of us to recognize our need to strengthen fraternal bonds as members of one human family. In particular, “may it awaken in nations’ leaders and other parties involved a renewed commitment to overcome rivalries.

Then in prophetic boldness Pope Francis declared: “Conflicts aren’t resolved through war! It is necessary to overcome antagonisms and oppositions through dialogue and a constructive search for peace.” 

In addition to praying for peace, we also need to tirelessly urge our political and corporate leaders to end the fighting and stop fueling wars.

    Many governments are involved in armed conflicts. In its “war on terrorism” the U.S. is fighting or preparing to fight in 80 countries (see: https://bit.ly/2RFyOs2).                    

And countries like Russia, China, Italy, France, Germany, U.K., Israel – with the U.S. leading the way – are sinfully fueling the estimated 70 conflicts with death-dealing weapons. Highly lucrative American corporations like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics, along with U.K.’s BAE Systems are the six largest arms manufacturers in the world (see: https://bit.ly/2wGx7Dm).

Pope Francis teaches us that it is an absurd contradiction to speak of peace while also permitting or promoting the arms trade (see: https://bit.ly/2V94GY6).

Furthermore, war and the arms trade are robbing money that could be used to fight the coronavirus and other human needs (see: https://bit.ly/3ejEUrT).

In his Easter Vigil homily, Pope Francis reminded us that we are all brothers and sisters, and that we should be singing the song of life! He pleaded: “Let us silence the cries of death, no more wars! May we stop the production and trade of weapons, since we need bread, not guns.”

And then connecting the innocent lives lost in war to the innocent lives lost through abortion, the Holy Father pleaded, “Let the abortion and killing of innocent lives end. May the hearts of those who have enough be open to filling the empty hands of those who do not have the bare necessities”

So, please kindly help Catholic Relief Services protect and aid some of our poorest brothers and sisters against the coronavirus (see: https://bit.ly/2VvxNUC).       

Comments from readers

Valli Leone - 05/18/2020 06:09 PM
I agree. Jesus said, “Peace I leave you; my peace I give you.” When will we, as individuals as nations and as a world, get this message right? The enemy, who is the source of all division and war, is dancing in the streets as we continue to promote these deadly weapons on a personal, national and worldwide level. We need to put on the full armor of God, our spiritual warfare, as Saint Paul shared in Ephesians 6. But then, who’s reading the Bible? Just do it!!! Jesus never fails. He loves you, and so do I. ✝️⚓️💜
Art Acuña - 05/18/2020 10:33 AM
Ideally, the world should beat their swords into plowshares. That is not the world we live in. The US gave Iran pallot-loads of cash and other incentives for their promise not to use their centrifuges to create weapons-grade nuclear material; only a fool would believe that they have kept that promise. The West has kowtowed to North Korea in the hope that they would dismantle their nuclear weapons program. Again, that doesn't seem to be happening. China unleashed Covid-19 on the world, whether on purpose or by accident and the only beneficiary of this epidemic is China, who has been waging cyber, economic, and now, biological warfare against the West for many years. In a world where there are many characters seeking to annihilate us, we need to prepare to defend ourselves while at the same time offering the possibility of reconciliation.

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