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Pope Francis at his general audience in St Peter’s Square yesterday (Vatican Media)

“War is always a defeat,” Pope Francis said yesterday, urging people at his general audience to pray that leaders in war-torn nations would have the courage to negotiate for peace. Source: CNS.

“We must make every effort to discuss, to negotiate to end war. Let’s pray for this,” the Pope said at the end of the audience in St Peter’s Square .

Although he began the audience by telling the visitors and pilgrims that he was still unable to read his full speech and would have an aide read it for him, Pope Francis took the microphone at the end of the gathering to greet Italian speakers and to pray for “the populations of the tormented Ukraine and the Holy Land – Palestine and Israel – who suffer so much from the horror of war”.

Continuing his series of audience talks about virtues and vices, the Pope’s text said virtues have never been the concern of Christians alone, but “belong to the heritage of ancient wisdom”.

The Pope’s main text focused on the virtue of prudence, which is not caution or hesitancy, he wrote.

“The prudent person is creative. He or she reasons, evaluates, tries to understand the complexity of reality and does not allow himself or herself to be overwhelmed by emotions, idleness, pressures and illusions,” the text said.

St Thomas Aquinas, the Pope noted, described prudence as “right reason in action”.

“In a world dominated by appearances, by superficial thoughts, by the triviality of both good and bad,” he wrote, people need to cultivate the virtue of prudence to direct their actions toward what is good for themselves and for others.”

Prudence is especially important for people who govern or are in other positions of authority, he wrote, because they must listen to different points of view and “try to harmonise them,” working for the good of all.


At audience, Pope looks at virtue of prudence, prays for peace (By Cindy Wooden, CNS via USCCB)