Pope’s message of peace and Wisbech vigil ends

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Pope’s message of peace and Wisbech vigil ends

Pope Francis has given a message for Peace Sunday on January 14 on Artificial Intelligence and Peace, while a Wisbech peace vigil has concluded.

Pope Francis’s message for the 2024 World Day of Peace focuses on the role of Artificial Intelligence in peace-making.

He concluded: “It is my prayer at the start of the New Year that the rapid development of forms of artificial intelligence will not increase cases of inequality and injustice all too present in today’s world, but will help put an end to wars and conflicts, and alleviate many forms of suffering that afflict our human family. May Christian believers, followers of various religions and men and women of good will work together in harmony to embrace the opportunities and confront the challenges posed by the digital revolution and thus hand on to future generations a world of greater solidarity, justice and peace.”

Read the full message here.

Pax Christi, the international Catholic movement for peace, has produced a variety of on-line and paper resources to celebrate the theme. 

It’s National President, Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, said: “The war between Russia and Ukraine continues, as do conflicts around the globe. As I write, the conflict in Palestine and Israel has erupted once more into terrible violence and suffering with thousands dying, injured and displaced.

“Advocating for a just peace in Palestine and Israel is a part of the ongoing work of Pax Christi, alongside building a culture of non-violence, campaigning against war, nuclear weapons and the arms trade. Supporting its members and the church, Pax Christi produces resources on peace and nonviolence issues, organises events and vigils, represents the Catholic church in the peace movement and works with young people in both schools and churches.”

Pax Christi resources can be found here: https://paxchristi.org.uk/peace-sunday/

On Christmas Eve, the peace candle which had been displayed at the Peace Vigil on the Clarkson Memorial in Wisbech was  carried to the Parish Church for the annual Carol Service. Local Pax Christi member, Sean Finlay, said: “A darkened church witnessed its light gradually spreading through the  large congregation. At the end of the service the candle, with the prayer card was then placed in the Orthodox shrine where it burned for the next seven days.  

“In the picture (above) Fr Matthew Bradbury from St Peters is seen with Theo Hall (on the right) from his congregation and Thomas Willett from Our Lady and St Charles Borromeo church. The picture on the card was originally taken by Ann Farr, chairperson of Pax Christi during one of her frequent visits to Israel/Palestine.   

“Speaking after the Angelus prayer in Rome recently, Pope Francis pleaded for an end to the attacks (on both sides) and repeated what he has said before: ‘War is always a defeat!. Every war is a defeat!’. He reminded us all that ‘terrorism and war do not lead to any solution, but only to the death and suffering of so many innocent people,” said Sean.