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Special Lecture by Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher “The Promotion of a Culture of Peace”

Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher

On February 2, a special lecture “The Promotion of a Culture of Peace” by Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Titular Archbishop of Hodelm and Secretary for Relations with States was held at International Conference Hall at Yotsuya Campus. More than 200 audiences including Sophia students and outside guests, the press and foreign diplomats as well as priests and monks gathered revealing high interests of all.

Song presented by Sophia Choir Group

In his lecture Archbishop Gallagher emphasized importance of promoting the peace culture in order to bring about true peace to the modern world holding conflicts and complex issues. He expressed the concept of the peace can be misconceived as a mere “quiet life” however the peace is “active virtue” which takes active engagement and demonstrations in order to reach.

Archbishop Gallagher stated clearly the standpoint of the Catholic Church as to the conviction for peace calling first and against use of the force. Also “To bring about true peace, it is necessary to bring people together concretely so as to reconcile people and groups with opposing ideological positions”, quoting Pope Francis he spoke of what it takes to prevent wars. However recognizing the fact war has not been eradicated he also shared the church’s understanding “the right to legitimate defense once every means of peaceful settlement has been exhausted“. He also shared the concerns as for the episodes of violence against the resident population by the personnel involving in the peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations. To have visited Hiroshima prior to the lecture, as for nuclear issue he emphasized spending on nuclear weapon would be “far better invested in the areas of integral human development, education, health and the fight against extreme poverty.”, also using the word of Pope Francis.

Flower Bouquet Presented From Sophia Student

At last in the question and answer session, the question regarding Trump’s Refugee’s Ban, Archbishop Gallagher responded that any policy is entitled to evolve hence he would like to keep a close watch. Also the question regarding a distress situation with the small Catholic population in Syria, he shared his concern not only for the Catholic population but for other minority groups who are facing hardship there as well. Once again emphasizing the importance to invite conflicting parties to the table of negotiation and to aim reconciliation, he expressed we must move forward with the spirit of justice and forgiveness to close the session.

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