The theme of Pope Francis’ World Day of Peace Message for 2021 is A Culture of Care as a Path to Peace. It is a simple, timely message that goes to the heart of the matter. Francis begins by reflecting that 2020 has shown us “how important it is to care for one another and for creation”. Hence he proposes a culture of care “as a way to combat the culture of indifference, waste and confrontation so prevalent in our time”.
In the Message Pope Francis traces how care and protection, love and compassion permeate the Christian story from creation, throughout the life and ministry of Jesus, in the early church and as the “beating heart of the Church’s social doctrine” today. He highlights four principles that can act as a compass pointing the way forward:
- care as the promotion of the dignity and rights of each person
- care for the common good
- care through solidarity
- care and protection of creation.
Fraternity, respect, solidarity and the observance of international law – especially humanitarian law – should provide the inspiration for relationships between nations according to Pope Francis. He wants to see resources diverted from weapons and military expenditure towards integral human development, the fight against poverty, and the provision of health care.
To encourage reflection on the Message the Office for Social Justice has prepared a Discussion Guide. It offers a summary of each section of the Message together with questions for personal or group reflection. You can download the PDF file to print and share.