Response to Terrorism Must Be a Just World Order, Cardinal Says

Calls for Creation of Appropriate International Authorities

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MADRID, Spain, DEC. 20, 2001 ( Cardinal Antonio María Rouco Varela says that international terrorism, in its religious and ideologically more fanatic versions, has unmasked the weakness of a concept of peace based only or predominantly on political or military power.

The archbishop of Madrid came to this conclusion on Monday when he addressed the Royal Academy of Moral and Political Sciences, an institution of which he is a member. The cardinal spoke on «The International Problems of Peace and Justice. From Sept. 11 to the Synod of Bishops. A Reflection in the Light of the Social Doctrine of the Church.»

After reviewing the principal events since Sept. 11, Cardinal Rouco wondered to what degree this new form of conflict represents an unprecedented challenge to moral and political judgment and, above all, to the determination to preserve the inestimable value of peace.

He said that historical developments seem to prove the wisdom of the Second Vatican Council when it stated: Peace can only be attained «if the well-being of persons in ensured and men share spiritual and intellectual riches spontaneously among themselves, with confidence.»

The cardinal also said that the response to terrorism requires progress in the creation of a «real international authority with sufficient juridical instruments in the field of international criminal and procedural law, and of police and executives in general.»

Thus, it will be possible to establish a «real supranational authority, which is universally respected and delimited.»

«A task that might and should be regarded as extremely urgent is the control and regulation of the production of armaments,» the cardinal continued.

The archbishop of Madrid said that war has too often been caused by «the injustices that stem from excessive economic inequalities and delay in the necessary remedies.»

«Real and supposed injustices,» he said. «It is not less so at this time, which is so delicate for the future of world peace.»

«The manifestations and statements to this effect, not only of political and social but also cultural, spiritual and religious leaders of the underdeveloped or less developed countries constitute a cry for justice, especially in the face of the phenomenon of globalization,» the cardinal said.

In fact, «This has also been the fear of the greater part of African, Asian and Latin American bishops" expressed at the synod in October, the cardinal concluded.

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