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John XXIII's peace message maintains relevance after 40 years


The Australian Catholic Social Justice Council (ACSJC) says today's 40th anniversary of Pope John XXIII's landmark encyclical Pacem in Terris provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the powerful document that still contributes to the Church's understanding of peace.

"It was ground-breaking then and forty years on, its message is still relevant and significant", said ACSJC chairman Bishop William Morris. "Pope John Paul II acknowledged its value in his message for World Peace Day in January this year."

"This landmark document identified truth, justice, love and freedom as the key elements which enable peace to exist," he said, pointing out that Pacem in Terris gave specific endorsement to the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. "It assumes that peaceful coexistence among nations and within nations is possible and indeed essential."

Bishop Morris stressed particularly the enduring relevance of Pope John XXIII's message that "the world will not be in peace until peace has found a home in the heart of every person".

To mark this anniversary, the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council has produced a paper on Pacem in Terris , which will be available later today at its website.

SOURCE
Australian Catholic Social Justice Council

LINKS
Australian Catholic Social Justice Council
John XXIII - Pacem in Terris (text)
Pax Christi president says 1963 peace encyclical remains relevant (Catholic News Service)
Why I will protest on Palm Sunday (Brisbane Catholic activist Tony Robertson)
John XXIII - Pacem in Terris (text)
Pope Recalls Anniversary of "Pacem in Terris" (Zenit)
Archbishop Martino Stresses Importance of UN (Zenit)
'63 Encyclical to Be Focus of Congress in Rome (Zenit)
Pacem in Terris remembered (Independent Catholic News)

11 Apr 2003