TELESPHORE P. CARDINAL TOPPO ARCHBISHOP OF RANCHI
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
Life is a great pilgrimage and all of us are pilgrims in the journey of life. I am also one of the pilgrims in your affectionate company and it gives me great joy that you have asked me to welcome this august gathering, the pilgrims of peace. Yes, I accord a very warm welcome to all of you to this pilgrim convention as well as inviting you to have a deep reflection on the theme of this pilgrimage. “How to bridge our divisions and bring peace to the world”. In fact, I wish to welcome you to this great mission of healing love that bridges divisions and brings peace to each of us and to the world. Moscow derives its name from the Moskva River, which has been flowing for ages and to this day. Generations and generations have lived around this River as pilgrims in this journey of life. The River itself is a beautiful symbol of our pilgrimage to God as the River flows towards its destination. In fact, in the case of the Moskva River, it flows into the Oka River which in turn flows into the Volga in its journey towards the Caspian Sea. The spring of love that wells up in our hearts and mingles with the springs in the hearts of others make the journey towards our destination much more joyous and beautiful. Welcome to each of you, the Moskva, the Oka and the Volga. Yes, welcome to you my brothers and sisters in this ancient city of Moscow.
The world needs peacemakers, the children of God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God”, said Jesus in His famous Sermon on the Mount. The unfortunate reality is that divisions are multiplying in the world. We are divided in so many ways and on so many issues. A simple analysis of the prevailing divisions in the world would reveal to us that love in our hearts has been replaced by greed, violence, arrogance and, as Pope Francis says: “the use and throw culture” prevalent in society. Respect and reverence for the other is paramount in bridging divisions and bringing peace to the world. Everyone born on this earth deserves a dignified life. Every creature has an