Peace on Easter

In February 2021, Pope Francis appointed Benny Mario Travas as the Archbishop of Karachi. This same bishop led a midnight mass on Eas­ter Day at Karachi’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, speaking out against the atrocities going on around the world in Ukraine, Palestine, and Russia.

Even though Pakistan may not be the most harmonious society when it comes to religious differences and pluralism, it is humbling to see that even our own local representatives of the Christian Com­munity are not full of despair, but hope. They still dream that Paki­stan, along with the rest of the the world can collectively undergo another spiritual awakening and snap out of the madness we have become accustomed to for so long.

Many may think that even a message as simple as this would not resonate with the rest of the world, however, Pope Francis echoed this sentiment at the pulpit of his Easter address in St. Peter’s Square in front of thousands of his followers, and millions who were watch­ing at home. The pope gave a solemn account of a crisis that the en­tire world is enduring right now. He made calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, a sentiment he has been vocal about for quite some time now, and vocalised the pain he felt for the ill-fated children who have “forgotten how to smile”. He also drew attention to other glob­al humanitarian conflicts from the Russia-Ukraine war, to the plight of the Haitians and the Rohingya community. It is interesting to note that Pope Francis did not mention Hamas or any specific entities in his comments on these conflicts, and perhaps that is truly the way humanity must move forward now. How long can we point fingers of condemnation instead of facing the reality that we need to put our differences aside and create a society of tolerance and peace?

Nations are currently willing to engage in war more than ever be­fore, and simultaneously humanity is as emotionally detached from the consequences of war as they have ever been. The pope’s words are a desperate call for unity, because they have abandoned the no­tions of differences, nationalities, and ethnicities, and instead fo­cused on basic human commonalities of love and compassion that we all share. It is time for us to heed his words when he says “War is always an absurdity and a defeat”.

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