Peace with no borders

The international meeting of Sant'Egidio in the 'spirit of Assisi' titled 'Peace with No Borders', Madrid September 15-17, 2019.

A grand appeal to come out from behind our fences, from behind borders that became prisons and barriers, to rediscover the world as "a common home." The religious leaders who had come from all over the world to Madrid for the international meeting of Sant'Egidio in the 'spirit of Assisi' titled 'Peace with No Borders', gave voice to the "silent lamentations and cries of those who are excluded of wellbeing, as if they weren't men and women like us." And above all those who are victims of too many wars that are still ongoing in our world. From Madrid there was also a strong 'no' that arose against religious extremism and against the classic temptation of believing that big problems can be solved on their own.

The final ceremony took place in Almudena square, filled with thousands of participants who had come from all over Europe to experience three days of dialogue and participate in the 27 panel discussions that were held in the Spanish capital: “We are worried for future generations – states the appeal of the religious leaders – because we see the only planet for all being consumed as if it belonged only to few people. Because we see the re-emergence of a culture of power and nationalistic divisions, that has caused great destructions throughout the history. Because terrorism continues to target helpless people. Because the dream of peace seems to have grown weaker,” thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall that had given so much hope to the world. "Wars and peace, epidemics, security and cybersecurity, the displacement of populations, the planet’s sustainability and global warming, the task to end the nuclear risk and the reduction of inequalities are far larger than one single nation’s scope."

But there was also a specific request coming from the international meeting: "We ask all, the responsible politicians, the richest of the world, the men and women of good will, to provide resources to prevent millions of children from dying without care every year and to send the millions of children to school who cannot go there. Let's not hide behind a wall of indifference."

Cardinal Carlos Osoro Sierra, who organised the meeting together with Sant’Egidio, spoke of days "in which we have been encouraged not to become islands, not to sow prejudice, but peace, because humanity in itself bears the inscription of fraternity." It's true that there are people trying to reinstate borders, among which the Mexican, in what father Alejandro Solalinde, repeatedly threatened by drug traffickers, has suggestively called a "migrant times," but - warned Marco Impagliazzo, president of the Community of Sant'Egidio from the large stage in Almudena square - “there is just one heaven" and everyone turns to it "in despair, in joy, taking shelter under a shellfire in Syria, in worship - practiced in churches, synagogues, mosques, temples."

In Madrid, everyone was also unanimous in defending the environment: "Today - Impagliazzo emphasized - we show our solidarity with the people of the Amazone. The air we breathe is not subject to customs authorities: it's the same air for all. Young people were the first to recognize this, and they are rallying all over the world with generosity, standing for a liveable planet. I note that quite many youth participated to this meeting in Madrid!" At the end it was announced which city hosts the next international meeting in the 'spirit of Assisi': Rome 2020.

Editorial remarks

Source: Community of Sant' Egidio.