Archbishop Martino Stresses Importance of U.N.

During Commemoration of 40th Anniversary of «Pacem in Terris»

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PADUA, Italy, APRIL 9, 2003 ( The president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace says it would be pernicious if current international conflicts caused a paralysis in key organizations such as the United Nations.

Archbishop Renato Martino’s statements were made during the commemoration here of the 40th anniversary of Pope John XXIII’s encyclical «Pacem in Terris.»

«Pope Roncalli insisted greatly on the importance of authority for peace among nations, going so far as to point out without evasions the urgency of a world political authority capable of pursuing the common good,» he said.

According to Archbishop Martino, Blessed John XXIII’s intuition is even more important today than it was then.

«With respect to 40 years ago, the need to seek the world’s common good is extraordinarily evident, given that the interdependence and integration of economies, cultures and societies has greatly increased,» the archbishop said. «Just as at the time of ‘Pacem in Terris,’ also in the hours we are now living, humanity suffers wounds, wars and divisions in the international organizations,» the archbishop stressed.

«How much John XXIII did, [and] John Paul II does,» he said. «The present international conflicts require once again that the Church offer humanity the very heart of its eternal message, the one of the Gospel of peace.»

«We would all have liked the 40th anniversary of ‘Pacem in Terris’ — next April 11 — to have been celebrated in an international atmosphere less charged by tensions,» he said.

«All the more reason, [John XXIII’s] message acquires today a particular importance, as long as we are able to perceive in depth all the elements of the present moment, among them, the relation between peace and terrorism, peace and a new world order, peace and the unity of the human family,» he concluded.

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