In a world obsessed with violence and fear, Pope Francis has become a breath of fresh air. While there is obviously a long road ahead in reforming the Catholic church, he has already established some moral authority and widespread respect.
Worthy of his namesake, the Pope summoned the leadership of Israel and the Palestinian authority for a prayer meeting in Rome, a first for the Vatican. After the prayers, the Pope instructed these intractable leaders saying – among other things – “peacemaking calls for courage, much more so than warfare.” Yes, it does and always did. An example of this valor is Mahatma Gandhi’s approach to non-violence, which displayed enormous courage as he successfully led a non-violent resistance to British colonialism and liberated India.
Will these leaders humble themselves and offer up this courage for their respected peoples?
It seems unlikely, but the Pope deserves much credit for shining a light on their mutual perennial darkness. It is said that darkness is merely the absence of light. Hopefully, this flickering light will be a seed for change and not be extinguished by narrow minded leaders.