Page 7, 6th November 1964

6th November 1964
Page 7
Page 7, 6th November 1964 — Studying the Art of Peace

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Studying the Art of Peace



DOMINIQUE. PIRE, . 0.P., is a practical man. His main concern is ethics, and

he spends most of his time

organising fortnight-long study sessions for young people at his University of Peace in Huy. Belgium.

But he's not one to sit around discussing historical trends in moral education or the difference in attitudes between, say, Christians and Agnostics. "I am not a specialist." he told ole .sntply while we sat in the lounge at London Airport last week. He was on his way to

Biocllfaiso speak.

Belfast, the Reetor of

Queen's University had invited

h "My work has been helping war refugees and organising a development programme in East Pakistan." (He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1958 for his work for refugees.) "I am not an expert on theory. But there is one thing 1 arn sure of. The peace we have now is not true peace. It is only an absence of war, "I know peace is something to do, not something to discuss. But first we must know what peace is."

And Fr. Pire is sure he has the answer.

"There are two ways to have peace. The first is like a steamroller--you try to destroy the other person by making him like yourself. The set:0[1d. true peace is respecting the other person. We have to create a harmony of human beings in their differences." That is how his university works. Ten times a year 60 people., mostly in their twenties, gather there to hear tradesmen, professional workers and university lecturers explain how they put "respect for others" into practice through their jobs. On the outside. the students have little in common. They come from five continents and from a rainhow variety of politics, religions and social customs.

But no conversion campaigns are allowed.

Instead, they talk about what Fr. Pire feels all human beings share —kindness, love suffering and dying. So simple it almost sounds silly. But the university is proud of its graduates. "It do not seem sensational to hear that when a youngster returns home and finds his parents are about to divorce each other, he tries to build a bridge between them. But it is absolutely sensational from a praetieal viewpoint." And that is the kind of result Fr. Pire has. He is optimistic for the human race, but he is patient. "We are tempted to think that because we have so much technical speed that everything can be done quickly. It will maybe take 10 generations to achieve unity through respect. But people are 1110fC alike than different. I know that. All of us have the dream of peace."

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