In his message for the 52nd World Day of Peace, Pope Francis emphasizes the relevance of political leadership in building a culture of peace.

The text of the papal message, “Good politics is at the service of peace,” was released by the Vatican on December 18. The World Day of Peace is celebrated each year on January 1. On that day the Pontiff traditionally delivers his message to members of the Vatican diplomatic corps.

In his message for the 2019 observance, Pope Francis warns against the temptations that can prompt political leaders to destroy the cause of peace. He states political corruption and economic inequality, racism and fear of strangers, mistreatment of migrants, and pulling down of the environment.

Peace, the Pope writes, “is the fruit of a great political project grounded in the mutual responsibility and interdependence of human beings.”

At a Vatican press conference introducing the papal message, Cardinal Peter Turkson, the prefect of the dicastery for Integral Human Development, witnessed that the message of the Gospel is intimately related with the cause of peace. “The good news of Jesus, whether of his birth and of his own coming into the world, or when his disciples travel the world to exalt him, is always followed by peace, and it brings peace.”

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