On November 12, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, gave opening remarks during a Concert in the Economic and Social Council Chamber at the headquarters of the UN commemorating the centenary of the end of World War I and remembering those who have died in war and conflict. The Concert, attended by 700 and performed by the UN Staff Recreation Council Symphony Orchestra and Choir, featured Mozart’s Requiem in D Minor, preceded by Barber’s Adagio for Strings and Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus. It was sponsored by the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See, together with the Mountbatten Institute, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Sovereign Order of Malta and the Priory in the USA of the Order of St. John.
In his remarks, Archbishop Auza noted that World War I directly caused 16 million deaths and indirectly tens of millions more. The hundredth anniversary of the Armistice is an opportunity for us to learn from the tragic mistakes that led to the Great War, he said, but also from the errors of the Armistice that provided rationalizations for future conflicts. He quoted Pope Francis’ words from January about two lessons learned concerning not humiliating a vanquished foe and providing the opportunity for nations to discuss peace on equal terms. He mentioned the fittingness of the Adagio, Ave Verum, Requiem and Last Post to help us reflect and remember the dead in such a way that their blood will fertilize our commitment to building a culture of lasting peace.
To watch the concert in its entirety on UN Web TV, click here.
His remarks can be found here.