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Pope to diplomats: Break bad habits of war, injustice


  • Members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See stand in the Sistine Chapel during an audience with Pope Francis for the traditional exchange of new year's greetings at the Vatican Jan. 9. The pope said that religions are "called to promote peace" and appealed to "all religious authorities to join in reaffirming unequivocally that one can never kill in God's name." (CNS photo/Alberto Pizzoli, pool)
  • Pope Francis makes his speech during an audience with the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See for the traditional exchange of new year's greetings at the Vatican Jan. 9. The pope said that religions are "called to promote peace" and appealed to "all religious authorities to join in reaffirming unequivocally that one can never kill in God's name." (CNS photo/Alberto Pizzoli, pool)
  • Pope Francis makes his speech during an audience with the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See for the traditional exchange of new year's greetings at the Vatican Jan. 9. The pope said that religions are "called to promote peace" and appealed to "all religious authorities to join in reaffirming unequivocally that one can never kill in God's name." (CNS photo/Alberto Pizzoli, pool)
  • Pope Francis walks in the Sistine Chapel during an audience with the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See for the traditional exchange of new year's greetings at the Vatican Jan. 9. The pope said that religions are "called to promote peace" and appealed to "all religious authorities to join in reaffirming unequivocally that one can never kill in God's name." (CNS photo/Alberto Pizzoli, pool)
  • Pope Francis makes his speech during an audience with the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See for the traditional exchange of new year's greetings at the Vatican Jan. 9. The pope said that religions are "called to promote peace" and appealed to "all religious authorities to join in reaffirming unequivocally that one can never kill in God's name." (CNS photo/Alberto Pizzoli, pool)
  • Pope Francis makes his speech during an audience with the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See for the traditional exchange of new year's greetings at the Vatican Jan. 9. The pope said that religions are "called to promote peace" and appealed to "all religious authorities to join in reaffirming unequivocally that one can never kill in God's name." (CNS photo/Alberto Pizzoli, pool)
  • Pope Francis poses in the Sistine Chapel with members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See at the end of an audience for the traditional exchange of new year's greetings at the Vatican Jan. 9. The pope said that religions are "called to promote peace" and appealed to "all religious authorities to join in reaffirming unequivocally that one can never kill in God's name." (CNS photo/Alberto Pizzoli, pool)
  • Pope Francis makes his speech during an audience with the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See for the traditional exchange of new year's greetings at the Vatican Jan. 9. The pope said that religions are "called to promote peace" and appealed to "all religious authorities to join in reaffirming unequivocally that one can never kill in God's name." (CNS photo/Alberto Pizzoli, pool)

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- At the start of a new year, Pope Francis laid out a laundry list of suggested resolutions for religious and political leaders for making a joint commitment toward building peace.

No conflict exists that is "a habit impossible to break," the pope said, but he underlined that kicking such a habit requires greater efforts to rectify social injustice, protect religious freedom, jump-start peace talks, end the arms trade and cooperate in responding to climate change and the immigration and refugee crises.

In a 45-minute speech Jan. 9 to diplomats accredited to the Vatican, the pope underlined what he saw as the real "enemies of peace" and the best responses that could be made by today's religious and political leaders.

"One enemy of peace," he said, is seeing the human person as a means to an end, which "opens the way to the spread of injustice, social inequality and corruption."

The waste, "greedy exploitation" and inequitable distribution of the world's resources provoke conflict, he said, and human trafficking, especially the abuse and exploitation of children, cannot be overlooked.

Another enemy of peace, the pope said, are ideologies that exploit "social unrest in order to foment contempt and hate" and target others as enemies to be eliminated.

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