Overcoming Indifference

To promote a reflection on the need for a “conversion of mind and heart” open to the needs of others, Pope Francis has chosen “Overcome indifference and win peace” as the theme for the church’s celebration of the next World Day of Peace. Announcing the theme for the celebration on Jan. 1, 2016, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace said that peace is difficult to achieve when people are indifferent “to the scourges of our time.” The problems everyone must be aware of, the council said in a statement on Aug. 11, include “fundamentalism, intolerance and massacres, persecutions on account of faith and ethnicity,” disregard for human rights, human trafficking and forced labor, corruption, organized crime and forced migration. Simply increasing the amount of information about the problems is not enough, the council said; people must open their hearts and minds to the suffering of others. “Today, indifference is often linked to various forms of individualism, which cause isolation, ignorance, selfishness and, therefore, lack of interest and commitment,” the statement said.

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Anne Chapman
2 years 4 months ago
Are most people indifferent? Or do they simply feel overwhelmed? The information revolution has meant that almost everyone, almost everywhere, is constantly bombarded with news - often very graphic - about every tragedy, disaster, and war going on in the world, along with countless "news stories" of human corruption of every type, great and small, of human cruelty, of man's inhumanity towards their fellow human beings. This massive onslought of terrible news can engender a feeling of helplessness. This is not the same as indifference.

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