VATICAN CITY, DEC. 19, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Hundreds of lawyers gave John Paul II an encyclopedic book on his teachings on law, as a gift for his 25th anniversary as Pope.
Among the authors of the 1,148-page book, entitled “John Paul II — The Paths of Justice: Itineraries for Lawyers of the Third Millennium,” are Jews and Muslims.
The book was coordinated by professors Aldo Loiodice of the University of Bari, and Massimo Vari, vice president emeritus of the Italian Constitutional Court.
Inspired by the Pope’s own work, the authors, each of whom wrote in his native language — there are pages in Chinese — analyze the strength of law to protect the human person regardless of culture, race or religion.
The volume, published by the Vatican Publishing House and by the Italian Bardi Publishing House, is divided in 25 sections which address issues such as democracy; human rights, particularly the right to life; biogenetics; marriage and family law; and freedom.
A delegation of lawyers arrived in the Vatican this morning to deliver the book.
In his brief greeting to them, the Pope said: “The only path to follow, to safeguard the human being and his dignity, as well as to pursue the common good and understanding among peoples, is that which makes law prevail, with due respect for all persons, regardless of the culture, language and religion to which they belong.”
“It is what I also wished to underline in the message for the forthcoming World Day of Peace, recalling at the same time the importance and urgency to educate for peace,” the Holy Father said.
“I very much hope that this work will contribute to highlight the fundamental duty to safeguard human rights, the merits and also the limits of globalization, and the value of European integration and of peace,” he concluded.
On May 17, John Paul II was conferred an honorary doctorate in jurisprudence by Rome’s La Sapienza University, for his work in defense of human rights.