Paris (Fides Service) - “The path to peace is the only path that leads to the building of a society of more justice and solidarity, and it is the duty of all believers and all persons of good will to work to ensure that the future of humanity is anchored to the cause and culture of peace”. Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said this yesterday 4 November in Paris during a Study Seminar to mark the 40th anniversary of the Pacem in Terris encyclical by Pope John XXIII. The Seminar was organised jointly by the Pontifical Council and the Holy See’s permanent Observer to UNESCO and held at the UNECSO offices in Paris. Among those present UNESCO General Director Koïchiro Matsuura.
Underlining important points of convergence between the finalities UNESCO and the message of the historical encyclical to promote an authentic culture of peace and to cultivate its presuppositions and implications, Cardinal Martino stressed the contribution that Pacem in Terris can offer today towards building peace in this era of globalisation with its emphasis on the unity of the human family, the universal good and a political world authority.
Referring to this contribution Cardinal Martino recalled that the right to work, condemnation of racism, protection of minorities, assistance to exiles and refugees, international solidarity towards those in need whatever their citizenship, are merely applications of the principle of the world citizenship affirmed in Pacem in Terris.
Referring to another important point raised by the encyclical, the necessity to have a political world authority and to strive to reach the common good, the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace said “it is not a question of drafting the Constitution of a super world-state, but rather to continue to deepen the process already begun of shared construction at transparent and subsidiary levels of authority”, developing also the pedagogical potential of international bodies, particularly in defence of human rights. “Following Pacem in Terris –Cardinal Martino said – we must increase awareness of those rights which are not fruit of human consensus, however high and authoritative it may be, but rather the expression of an order and the reflection of the dignity of the human person and the unity of the human family ”.
At the end of his address Cardinal Martino said: “the cause of peace can never be threatened by unjustifiable clashes between cultures, civilisations and even less religions. The most effective antidote to avoid recourse to war is to build a culture of peace founded on the four pillars of truth, justice, love and freedom, according to the teaching of Pacem in Terris by John XXIII. (S.L.) (Fides Service 5/11/2003 – lines 34; words 441).