In Pennsylvania's

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Promotion of Peace

As per Chapter Eleven of the Compendium, The Promotion of Peace,

    “Peace is the goal of life in society, as is made extraordinarily clear in the messianic vision of peace....The promise of peace that runs through the entire Old Testament finds its fulfilment in the very person of Jesus. Peace, in fact, is the messianic attribute par excellence, in which all other beneficial effects of salvation are included....

    “The peace of Christ is in the first place reconciliation with the Father, which is brought about by the ministry Jesus entrusted to his disciples and which begins with the proclamation of peace....Peace is then reconciliation with one's brothers and sisters, for in the prayer that Jesus taught us, the 'Our Father', the forgiveness that we ask of God is linked to the forgiveness that we grant to our brothers and sisters....With this twofold reconciliation Christians can become peacemakers and therefore participate in the Kingdom of God, in accordance with what Jesus himself proclaims in the Beatitudes: 'Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God' (Mt 5:9)….

    “Working for peace can never be separated from announcing the Gospel....Peace is not merely the absence of war, nor can it be reduced solely to the maintenance of a balance of power between enemies.[Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, 78: AAS 58 (1966), 1101-1102.] Rather it is founded on a correct under-standing of the human person [Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 51: AAS 83 (1991), 856-857.] and requires the establishment of an order based on justice and charity….

    “Peace is the fruit of justice,[Cf. Paul VI, Message for the 1972 World Day of Peace: AAS 63 (1971), 868.] (cf. Is 32:17) understood in the broad sense as the respect for the equilibrium of every dimension of the human person. Peace is threatened
    • When man is not given all that is due him as a human person,
    • when his dignity is not respected and
    • when civil life is not directed to the common good.
    The defence and promotion of human rights is essential for the building up of a peaceful society and the integral development of individuals, peoples and nations. [Cf. Paul VI, Message for the 1969 World Day of Peace: AAS 60 (1968), 772; John Paul II, Message for the 1999 World Day of Peace, 12: AAS 91 (1999), 386-387.]

    “Peace is also the fruit of love....

    “To prevent conflicts and violence, it is absolutely necessary that peace begin to take root as a value rooted deep within the heart of every person....

    “Violence is never a proper response....
    The contemporary world too needs the witness of unarmed prophets, who are often the objects of ridicule.[Cf. John Paul II, Address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (12 November 1983), 5: AAS 76 (1984), 398-399.]....

    "Seeking alternative solutions to war for resolving international conflicts has taken on tremendous urgency today....'For this reason, another name for peace is development. Just as there is a collective responsibility for avoiding war, so too there is a collective responsibility for promoting development'.[John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 52: AAS 83 (1991), 858.]

    “States do not always possess adequate means to provide effectively for their own defence, from this derives the need and importance of international and regional organizations, which should be in a position to work together to resolve conflicts and promote peace [Cf. John XXIII, Encyclical Letter Pacem in Terris: AAS 55 (1963), 288-289.]....

    "A war of aggression is intrinsically immoral....To be licit, the use of force must correspond to certain strict conditions:
    • 'the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave and certain;
    • all other means… must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
    • there must be serious prospects of success;
    • the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated.
    The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition. These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the ‘just war’ doctrine. The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good'. [Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2309.].  If this responsibility justifies the possession of sufficient means to exercise this right to defence, States still have the obligation to do everything possible 'to ensure that the conditions of peace exist, not only within their own territory but throughout the world'.[Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, The International Arms Trade. An ethical reflection (1 May 1994), ch. 1, 6: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Vatican City 1994, p. 13.]....

    “The Charter of the United Nations, born from the tragedy of the Second World War with the intention of preserving future generations from the scourge of war, is based on a generalized prohibition of a recourse to force to resolve disputes between States, with the exception of two cases:
    • legitimate defence and
    • measures taken by the Security Council within the area of its responsibilities for maintaining peace....

    “ engaging in a preventive war without clear proof that an attack is imminent cannot fail to raise serious moral and juridical questions. International legitimacy for the use of armed force, on the basis of rigorous assessment and with well-founded motivations, can only be given by the decision of a competent body that identifies specific situations as threats to peace and authorizes an intrusion into the sphere of autonomy usually reserved to a State….

    "The requirements of legitimate defence justify the existence in States of armed forces, the activity of which should be at the service of peace....

    “Every member of the armed forces is morally obliged to resist orders that call for perpetrating crimes against the law of nations and the universal principles of this law.[Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2313.]....

    “Conscientious objectors… must be open to accepting alternative forms of service....

    "The right to use force for purposes of legitimate defence is associated with the duty to protect and help innocent victims who are not able to defend themselves from acts of aggression....the good of the human person must take precedence over the interests of the parties to the conflict….

    “The principle of humanity inscribed in the conscience of every person and all peoples includes the obligation to protect civil populations from the effects of war....

    “The twentieth century bears the tragic mark of different genocides:
    • from that of the Armenians
    • to that of the Ukrainians,
    • from that of the Cambodians
    • to those perpetrated in Africa
    • and in the Balkans. Among these,
    • the Holocaust of the Jewish people, the Shoah, stands out....
    The international community as a whole has the moral obligation to intervene on behalf of those groups whose very survival is threatened or whose basic human rights are seriously violated....if all other available means should prove ineffective, it is 'legitimate and even obligatory to take concrete measures to disarm the aggressor'. [John Paul II, Message for the 2000 World Day of Peace, 11: AAS 92 (2000), 363.]....

    “There is…an International Criminal Court to punish those responsible for particularly serious acts such as
    • genocide,
    • crimes against humanity,
    • war crimes and
    • crimes of aggression….

    "Sanctions, in the forms prescribed by the contemporary international order, seek to correct the behaviour of the government of a country that violates the rules of peaceful and ordered international coexistence or that practises serious forms of oppression with regard to its population. The purpose of these sanctions must be clearly defined and the measures adopted must from time to time be objectively evaluated by the competent bodies of the international community as to their effectiveness and their real impact on the civilian population. The true objective of such measures is open to the way to negotiation and dialogue. Sanctions must never be used as a means for the direct punishment of an entire population ....An economic embargo must be of limited duration and cannot be justified when the resulting effects are indiscriminate….

    "Any excessive stockpiling or indiscriminate trading in arms cannot be morally justified. Such phenomena must also be evaluated in light of international norms regarding the non-proliferation, production, trade and use of different types of arms....

    “Policies of nuclear deterrence, typical of the Cold War period, must be replaced with concrete measures of disarmament based on dialogue and multilateral negotiations….

    “'Any act of war aimed indiscriminately at the destruction of entire cities or extensive areas along with their population is a crime against God and man himself. It merits unequivocal and unhesitating condemnation'. [Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, 80: AAS 58 (1966), 1104.]….

    “Disarmament must include the banning of weapons that inflict excessively traumatic injury or that strike indiscriminately....

    “Appropriate measures are needed to control the production, sale, importation and exportation of small arms and light weapons, armaments that facilitate many outbreaks of violence to occur. The sale and trafficking of such weapons constitute a serious threat to peace....

    “The use of children and adolescents as soldiers in armed conflicts — despite the fact that their young age should bar them from being recruited —must be condemned....

    "Terrorism is one of the most brutal forms of violence traumatizing the international community today....The targets of terrorist attacks are generally places of daily life and not military objectives in the context of a declared war....Nor must we overlook the causes that can lead to such unacceptable forms of making demands. The fight against terrorism presupposes the moral duty to help create those conditions that will prevent it from arising or developing….

    “Terrorism is to be condemned in the most absolute terms. It shows complete contempt for human life and can never be justified, since the human person is always an end and never a means....

    “It is a profanation and a blasphemy to declare oneself a terrorist in God's name.[Cf. John Paul II, Address to Representatives from the World of Culture, Art and Science, Astana, Kazakhstan (24 September 2001), 5: L'Osservatore Romano, English ed., 26 Sept. 2001, p. 7.]....Martyrdom cannot be the act of a person who kills in the name of God....

    "The promotion of peace in the world is an integral part of the Church's mission of continuing Christ's work of redemption on earth....Moved solely by this faith, the Church intends to promote the unity of Christians and a fruitful cooperation with believers of other religions....

    “The Church teaches that true peace is made possible only through forgiveness and reconciliation.[Cf. John Paul II, Message for the 2002 World Day of Peace, 9: AAS 94 (2002), 136-137; John Paul II, Message for the 2004 World Day of Peace, 10: AAS 96 (2004), 121.]....

    “Mutual forgiveness must not eliminate the need for justice and still less does it block the path that leads to truth. On the contrary, justice and truth represent the concrete requisites for reconciliation....

    “It is through prayer that the Church engages in the battle for peace....

    “The World Days of Peace are particularly intense moments of prayer for peace and for the commitment to build a world of peace."”

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