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Pope marks anniversary of Gaudium et Spes

Pope John Paul II has issued a message to commemorate the 40th anniversary year of the core Vatican II document Gaudium et Spes - the Church in the Modern World - which was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on 7 December 1965.

The message was written for a Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace conference on Gaudium et Spes, which concludes today at the Vatican. It was read by Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

Gaudium et Spes argues that peace on earth stems from justice, and it includes the firm resolve to respect others, whether individuals or entire peoples, in their dignity.

The Holy Father said that the conference theme - Appealing to justice - draws attention to the challenge constantly faced by the Church in its effort to remind the faithful of the need to interpret social realities in the light of the Gospel.

"The sad persistence of armed conflicts and recurrent manifestations of violence in so many parts of the world," the Pope writes, "are proof, in the negative, of the inseparable relation between justice and peace, as set out in the fundamental teaching proposed with courageous clarity in Gaudium et spes (cfr no. 78)".

"In this connection," he said "I would like to reaffirm once again that peace is the work of justice: it derives in fact from the order on which the Divine Founder himself wished human society to be built."

Meanwhile the Pope also made a surprise silent appearance on Wednesday from the window of his study overlooking St Peter's Square, in lieu of his cancelled Wednesday General Audience.

Pope waves to crowds from his window and marks the anniversary of "Gaudium et spes" ( 16/3/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Pastoral Constitution on the Church in teh Modern World 'Gaudium et Spes'
Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
Anthony J Kelly, CSsR: Gaudium et Spes: Too much joy and too much hope? (Australian EJournal of Theology August 2003)
The Call to Justice: The Legacy of Gaudium et Spes 40 years later - March 16-18 2005 Vatican City (Universit of St Thomas)

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18 Mar 2005