Benedict XVI Calling on Youth for Global Peace

Theme Announced for 2012 World Day

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 19, 2011 ( If the world is going to achieve peace, young people have a key role to play, according to Benedict XVI.

The Pope is dedicating the 45th World Day of Peace, Jan. 1, 2012, to the duty to educate the young in promoting peace and the common good.

A statement from the Vatican today announced the theme: «Educating Young People in Justice and Peace.» The communiqué noted that this topic «engages an urgent need in the world today: to listen to and enhance the important role of new generations in the realization of the common good, and in the affirmation of a just and peaceful social order where fundamental human rights can be fully expressed and realized.»

The Vatican communiqué spoke of a duty for the present generation to prepare the next generation, «creating for them the conditions that will allow these future generations to express freely and responsibly the urgency for a ‘new world.'»

The communiqué said public policy makers need to create laws and institutions «permeated by a transcendent humanism,» such that new generations have the opportunity to find fulfillment, with possibilities of good jobs, education, etc.

The World Day of Peace has been linked to youth in the past: by Blessed John Paul II in 1985 («Peace and Youth Go Forward Together»), in 1979 («To Reach Peace, Teach Peace»), and in 2004 («An Ever Timely Commitment: Teaching Peace»).

«Young persons must labour for justice and peace in a complex and globalized world,» the communiqué affirmed. «It is therefore necessary to establish a new ‘pedagogical alliance’ among all those responsible for the education and formation of young people.»

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