MANILA, May 9, 2015 – More than for the interest of present-day society, peace should be forged for the sake of young ones and for generations to come, says a priest.
“I want [children] to grow up knowing peace and security, love and forgiveness, kindness and gentleness. Violence, prejudice and extremism rob them of all that. I say no. Let us create light in this darkness,” said Fr. Carlos Reyes, Executive Secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Episcopal Commission on Interreligious Dialogue.
The priest also emphasized the need to echo the voices of children who “need to be heard”, especially on the issue of peace, security, non-violence.
“I will give them a voice because their voices, so feeble and insignificant, run the risk of being unheard. These are the voices of the children of this generation and future generations. When Jesus was asked, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’, he called a child over and put him in their midst of everyone present. He then said, ‘If you do not convert and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven’,” Reyes stressed.
He believes that young, innocent ones, who are victims of violence “will grow in peace and gentleness” by seriously working for peace even from a tender age.
Reyes also said people look up to religious leaders who reveal their humanity and who see everyone“as children of God” thus, treating others as brothers and sisters.
He said such positive images of religious leaders promote interreligious dialogue and communicate the “humanization and divinization of the other” as Christians’ preferred tools for peace.
According to Reyes, he realizes “the need for religious scholars and academicians for a systematic and logical ordering of the questions and possible answers to questions on religious extremism”. (Vanessa M. Puno/ CBCP News)