Chiara Lubich: there is only one way


Not only freedom and equality. Twenty years after the collapse of the Twin Towers, Chiara Lubich’s comments on the attack that changed the fate of the world are more relevant than ever, reminding us of the only possible way to peace.

On the day after September 11 [2001], many of us felt the need to reflect deeply on the causes, but above all to work towards a true, responsible and definitive alternative to terrorism and war. …

Today, whether we are in New York or Bogota, in Rome or Nairobi, in London or Baghdad, many of us are asking if it is possible to live in a world of peoples that are free, equal and united; peoples that not only respect one another’s identity but are also mindful of each other’s particular needs. …

In many places around the world today, a cry of forsakenness rises up from millions of refugees, millions of people who are hungry, millions of people who are exploited, millions of workless people who are excluded and seemingly “cut off” from the body politic. It is this separation, and not only the hardships and economic difficulties, which makes them even poorer and increases their desperation. …

Considering the challenges of the present and future of humanity, liberty and equality by themselves are not enough. Our experience teaches us, and we believe that there is need for a third, long forgotten factor in political thought and practice: fraternity.

Fraternity can generate projects and action in the complex political, economic, cultural and social fabric of our world. Fraternity brings peoples out of their isolation and opens the door to development for those who are still excluded. Fraternity shows the way to peacefully resolving differences and relegates war to history books. Fraternity in action allows us to dream and even hope for some kind of sharing of goods between rich countries and poor countries, since the scandalous economic inequality in today’s world is one of the main causes of terrorism.

The deeply felt need for peace in humanity today shows that fraternity is not only a value, not only a method, but is a global paradigm for political development. This is why a world that is ever more interdependent needs politicians, businesspeople, intellectuals and artists who put fraternity – as a tool for unity – at the centre of their thought and action.

Chiara Lubich

 (Chiara Lubich, Message for the first World Interdependence Day, Philadelphia, USA, 12 September 2003 in Discorsi in ambito civile ed ecclesiale, [Talks given in civil and ecclesial contexts] edited by Vera Araujo, Città Nuova, Roma, 2020, pp. 111-113)

 

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