VATICAN CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–On July 1, a delegation from UPF International had a short private audience with His Holiness Pope Francis at his office in the Vatican.
Pope Francis has been a leading advocate for many of the ideals and values that UPF also embraces, such as the promotion of interreligious dialogue, strengthening the family, and a concern for environmental issues.
In his opening remarks, the Pope underscored the importance of peace, expressing a profound appreciation of those who work to achieve this, and spoke with deep concern about the hypocrisy of those who speak of peace but sell weapons of war.
UPF has already participated in programs at the Vatican-for example a consultation on the crisis in Syria in 2014 and the 50th anniversary program honoring Nostra aetete (the 1965 papal encyclical opening the way for more respectful ecumenical engagement).
During the meeting, Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, the chair of UPF International gave an overview of the recent work of UPF globally, “It is with the highest respect for His Holiness that UPF always seeks to work collaboratively and supportively with partners in the Catholic Church towards a world of lasting peace especially in the areas of interfaith relations, strengthening the family and caring for the environment.”
His Holiness spoke to the UPF delegation of the importance of prayer and the family. He related the background of the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together (2019), which invites “all persons who have faith in God and faith in human fraternity to unite and work together so that it may serve as a guide for future generations to advance a culture of mutual respect in the awareness of the great divine grace that makes all human beings brothers and sisters.”
Each member of the delegation was presented with a copy of the document.
The guest delegates affirmed to Pope Francis the commitment UPF has to working towards world peace and to a readiness to cooperate with and support initiatives from the Vatican in this direction. The meeting concluded with a brief discussion about the upcoming UPF World Summit 2020 in Seoul, South Korea.