Pope Francis: 3-step plan for overcoming conflict

From: Jim Forest


Pope in Morning Homily Gives 3-Step Plan for Overcoming Conflict

Warns That Insulting a Brother Is Akin to Murder, Since Both Are Rooted in Hate

Vatican City, June 12, 2014 (Zenit.org)

During his morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis today
proposed a three-step plan for overcoming conflict and living in
fraternal communion with one's neighbor.

He addressed the question of how we ought to love one another, drawing
from the Gospel reading of the day, which recounts the Lord's
conversation with His disciples about brotherly love (Mt 5:20-26).

The Pope first recommended a "criterion of realism: of sane realism."

"If you have something against another and you cannot fix it, look for
a [compromise] solution - at least," he suggested.

The Pontiff acknowledged that a compromise might not be ideal but is
at least a good thing and is "realism."

In order to save many things, in fact, "one must make a deal – and one
takes a step, the other takes another step and at least there is
peace: a very [imperfect] peace, but a peace agreement

We face many difficult situations in life, and, "while we are on the
road, we make compromises … and in this way we put a stop to hate and
strife among us," Francis said.

He proposed a second criterion, coherence, meaning a recognition that
"to speak ill of someone is to kill the other, because the act [of
insulting] is rooted in hatred all the same."

It is to "kill" our neighbor in "a different way: with gossip, with
calumny, with defamation. Jesus warns us: The one who calls his
brother stupid is killing his brother, because the act is rooted in
hate," Francis said. "In our day, we think that 'not killing our
brother' means simply not actually murdering him – but no – not
killing our brother means not [even] insulting him. The insult comes
from the same root of the crime: hatred. If you do not hate, and you
would not kill your enemy, your brother, then do not insult him

Finally, the Pope said, Jesus offers a third criterion, that of
"fraternity rooted in sonship."

"If we must not kill our brother, it is because he is our brother,
that is, because we have the same Father. I cannot go to the Father if
I do not have peace with my brother," the Pontiff reflected.

"Do not talk to the Father if you are not at peace with your brother –
if you do not have at least a compromise agreement," he insisted. "Do
not talk to the Father without being at peace with your brother."

Summarizing, Pope Francis admitted that these three criteria are not
easy to fulfill: "Three criteria: a criterion of realism; a criterion
of coherence, meaning not to kill and not even to insult, because
those who insult kill; and a criterion of fraternity rooted in

"One cannot talk to the Father if one cannot even speak to one's
brother – and this means overcoming the holier-than-thou attitude of
the scribes and the Pharisees. This program is not easy, is it?
Though, it is the way that Jesus tells us to keep going.

"Let us ask Him for the grace to move forward in peace among
ourselves, with compromises, and always with coherence and in a spirit
of fraternity rooted in sonship."

(June 12, 2014)

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