Archbishop Martino Highlights Church's Contribution to Peace

President of Council for Justice and Peace Points Out 4 Key Areas

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 27, 2003 ( To the question, » What concrete contribution can the Church make to the cause of peace?» a Vatican official has four answers.

Archbishop Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, pointed to the Church’s work of evangelization and teaching, in four areas.

In the first place, the Church works for peace by promoting «the development of the poorest and neediest peoples,» because, as Pope Paul VI explained, «development is the new name of peace,» Archbishop Martino told a seminar in Rome today.

Second, the former Vatican permanent observer at the United Nations mentioned the «ecclesial diplomatic» interventions directed to «sustaining and intensifying the defense of the human rights of all persons, especially the weakest,» because, as Pope John XXIII said in the encyclical «Pacem in Terris,» «there can be no peace without respect and the realization of these rights.»

Third, Archbishop Martino illustrated the pacifying action of the Church, which seeks to «prohibit or at least limit the proliferation of weapons, origin of the unleashing of wars in human history.»

Lastly, the Italian archbishop described the «ecclesial interventions oriented to favoring the settlement of ongoing conflicts and the prevention of other possible conflicts.»

At the end of his address, in a seminar organized by Catholic Action’s Giuseppe Toniolo Institute of International Law for Peace, the archbishop explained that this is precisely the work that John Paul II is carrying out to «remove from the horizon drenched in blood the terrible threat of a war that could strike the Middle East.»

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