Cardinal: Justice, Reconciliation Lead to Peace

Addresses Conference of European University Chaplains

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COVENTRY, England, JUNE 17, 2010 ( Promoting dialogue and social justice are needed in order to build a lasting peace, says the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers.

Cardinal Marchetto said this at the 2010 Conference on Peace, Reconciliation and Social Justice, organized by the Conference of European University Chaplaincies, under way at Coventry University. The five-day event ends Friday.

The cardinal began by noting the importance of the chosen theme and its application in the context of education, especially universities. The «intellectual, spiritual and human formation of young minds and hearts is so fundamental to create a better world,» he said.

The cardinal noted that the Church has constantly held to the view that peace is possible «through social justice and reconciliation.»

«Mankind will not succeed in ‘building a truly more human world for everyone, everywhere on earth, unless all people are renewed in spirit and converted to the truth of peace,'» the cardinal stated, quoting «Guadium et Spes.»

Quoting Benedict XVI, he continued, «Peace is an irrepressible yearning present in the heart of each person, regardless of his or her particular cultural identity. The truth of peace calls upon everyone to cultivate productive and sincere relationships; it encourages them to seek out and to follow the paths of forgiveness and reconciliation.»


In cases of terrorism, he explained, the Church upholds the view that government and religious leaders must work toward eliminating the social oppression and economic injustices that make the recruitment of terrorists easier.

«In this regard,» he continued, «interreligious understanding and cooperation is also very important,» especially with regard to «promoting a culture of forgiveness and reconciliation.»

Cardinal Marchetto noted as well that «poverty is often a contributory factor or a compounding element in conflicts. These conflicts, in turn, fuel further tragic situations of poverty»

«Of course nowadays, fighting poverty requires attentive consideration of the complex phenomenon of globalization,» he said. «Certainly globalization on its own is incapable of building peace, and in many cases, it actually creates divisions and conflicts.

«Globalization should be rather guided as a good opportunity to achieve something important in the fight against poverty, and to place at the disposal of justice and peace resources which were scarcely conceivable previously.»

The cardinal said that a form of building peace is through working for the «universal common good.» But before that can happen, he noted, «there needs to be a strong sense of global solidarity between rich and poor countries, as well as within individual countries, including affluent ones.»

«All of this would indicate,» Cardinal Marchetto explained, «that the fight against poverty requires cooperation both on the economic level and on the legal level, so as to allow the international community, and especially poorer countries, to identify and implement coordinated strategies to deal with the problems, thereby providing an effective legal framework for the economy.»
 [ZENIT will publish the entire text Saturday]

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