In a press conference today at the Holy See Press Office, Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, presented the upcoming event that will celebrate the 50th anniversary celebration of Blessed John XXIII’s encyclical Pacem in Terris. Also present at the media briefing was Bishop Mario Toso and Dr. Vittorio Alberti, secretary and official of the same dicastery, respectively.
Cardinal Turkson confirmed during the presentation that the goal of the celebration, which will take place from October 2nd-4th, was to “verify the translation [of the encyclical] in practice of its fundamental teachings in the field of human rights, the overall common good, in politics, and the fields in which the peaceful coexistence among peoples and nations is played out.“
The president of the Pontifical Council outlined three major aspects of the event, the first one regarding the question of political institutions and global politics in light of the encyclical.
“Already fifty years ago, for that matter, with clarity and clear foresight, Pacem in Terris noted the inadequacy of nation-states with respect to the realization of the universal common good,” Cardinal Turkson noted. In order to confront this type of problem, the Cardinal stated that it was necessary to begin examining the theme of reform for one of the largest global institutions: the United Nations.
The event will also look into the new frontiers of peace which the Cardinal described as the “second intricate knot that the Pontifical Council would like to submit for reflection.”
The updating of the contents of Pacem in Terris with reference to the res novae, or political changes, is due in part to the consideration that the game is played today in fields significantly different from those of fifty years ago, a time when the conflict was not always only latent, it was embodied essentially in opposition of the two blocks involved in the “Cold War”, Cardinal Turkson explained.
Finally, the event will also concentrate on the educational aspects of the encyclical, an aspect “that is particularly at the heart of the Church and has, among its principal missions, the formation of consciences.” Cardinal Turkson stated that some 60 rectors and professor, representing various pontifical and catholic universities from 5 continents will discuss these “crucial questions” in-depth, among them, “the formation of new generations of Catholics who are involved in politics.
At the end of the conference, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi confirmed that the event will conclude with an audience with Pope Francis, where it is expected that the he will discuss the relevance of Blessed John XXIII’s encyclical in today’s political climate.