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Tuesday, December 16, 2003


VATICAN CITY, DEC 16, 2003 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office, Cardinal Renato R. Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, presented John Paul II's Message for the celebration of the World Day of Peace whose theme is: 'An Ever Timely Commitment: Teaching Peace.' Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi, Msgr. Frank J. Dewane and Giorgo Filibeck, respectively secretary, undersecretary and official of the same dicastery, were also present.

Cardinal Martino said that the Holy Father 'wanted to address the topic of international law ' nucleus of the message - in the greater context of teaching peace.'

'The Message opens with an urgent appeal to the heads of nations, jurists, educators of young people, and men and women tempted to resort to terrorism, inviting everyone to consider peace possible and, if possible, also a duty.'

The main part of the Message, he said, is devoted to the theme of teaching legality, understood as the need to 'guide individuals and peoples to respect international order.'

The Message, continued Cardinal Martino, 'recalls the principle according to which 'pacta sunt servanda': 'accords freely signed must be honored'. ' It is opportune to recall this fundamental law, above all in moments when there is the temptation to appeal to the law of force rather than to the force of law.'
The president of the pontifical council said that the Pope considers 'the institution of the United Nations one of the most relevant fruits of international law, after the tragedy of World War II, whose objective is 'the prohibition of resorting to force' even with two exceptions: 'the natural law of legitimate defense' and 'the system of collective security.'

'Due recognition to the U.N.,' continued Cardinal Martino, 'is accompanied by an invitation to a 'reform' of the organization so that it functions more efficiently in pursuit of its own statuary ends which remain valid.'

Referring specifically to the fight against terrorism, the Holy Father 'offers two important indications.' One of them is 'to eliminate the causes of injustice ' while insisting on an education that is inspired by respect for human life in all circumstances.' The second indication concerns 'the mission of international law, called to elaborate legal instruments provided with the effective means of prevention, the monitoring and suppression of crime. In any event, democratic governments know well that the use of force against terrorism cannot justify renouncing the principles of a state of law.'

'The Holy Father,' he said, 'underscores the need for international law never to bypass ethical and moral law. ' Its essential objective is to replace 'the material force of arms with the moral force of law.'

The message concludes by affirming that 'the value of justice is completed by charity. 'By itself, justice is not enough.' ' 'Love must thus enliven every sector of human life and extend to the international order'.'

At the end of the press conference, journalists asked Cardinal Martino about reforming the U.N. in light of the war in Iraq. 'The need for a superior authority,' he said, 'is highlighted in the encyclical 'Pacem in Terris.' John XXIII desired this reform and Paul VI asked the U.N. to conform to the demands of today's world. In his speech to the United Nations in 1995, John Paul II urged the organism to go from an administrative organ to a moral center for the family of nations. This principle was reaffirmed in a letter sent by Cardinal Sodano in June to Kofi Annan.'

Asking for the Holy See's opinion's on Saddam Hussein's capture, the president of the dicastery said: 'The Holy See hopes that this capture and the process that will take place in the appropriate country, may contribute to the pacification and democratization of Iraq and may help to repair the damage of the defeat of humanity which war always is, as John Paul II says.' With regard to (the possibility of) Saddam Hussein being sentenced to the death penalty, Cardinal Martino affirmed that the Holy Father 'has always been against the death penalty, and I too am against it.'

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VATICAN CITY, DEC 16, 2003 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican Basilica John Paul II presided at the funeral of Cardinal Paulos Tzadua, archbishop emeritus of Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, who died in Rome on December 11 at age 82. The Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the college of cardinals, along with other cardinals.

In his homily, the Pope said that the deceased cardinal was 'a zealous priest and bishop who gave his life for Christ and His Church. ' In imitating Our Lord, he become a servant to his brothers and sisters, putting the qualities that were given to him, as well as the vast knowledge gained through study, at their disposition especially in the field of law. However, beyond his pastoral work, above all he gave of himself, always giving proof of his holiness and constant apostolic zeal.'

'We will remember him as a generous and active pastor from that portion of the Church that is in Africa. ' The people of God are in debt to him for his special concern for the laity to whom he always expressed great attention for their vocation, in line with the teachings of Vatican Council II.'



VATICAN CITY, DEC 16, 2003 (VIS) - Pope John Paul's Message for the celebration of the World Day of Peace on January 1, 2004, was published today. Entitled 'An Ever Timely Commitment: Teaching Peace,' it was published in Italian, French, English, German, Spanish and Portuguese. The Pope addressed the Message to the 'Leaders of the nations, who have the duty of promoting peace!,' to jurists, teachers of the young and 'to you too, men and women tempted to turn to the unacceptable means of terrorism and thus compromise at its root the very cause for which you are fighting!'

The Message, signed on December 8, solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, is divided into ten sections. Following are excerpts:

'A practical initiative

'My first Message for the World Day of Peace, in the beginning of January 1979, was centered on the theme: 'To Reach Peace, Teach Peace'.

'Pope Paul VI ' had wished to celebrate on January 1 each year a World Day of Prayer for Peace.'

'In the twenty-five years of Pontificate which the Lord has thus far granted me, I have not failed to speak out before the Church and the world, inviting believers and all persons of good will to take up the cause of peace and to help bring about this fundamental good, thereby assuring the world a better future, one marked by peaceful coexistence and mutual respect.'

'Humanity needs now more than ever to rediscover the path of concord, overwhelmed as it is by selfishness and hatred, by the thirst for power and the lust for vengeance.'

'The science of peace

'The eleven Messages addressed to the world by Pope Paul VI progressively mapped out the path to be followed in attaining the ideal of peace. ' Indeed, before the tragedy of the wars which at the beginning of the Third Millennium are still causing bloodshed throughout the world, especially in the Middle East, they take on at times the tone of prophetic admonishments.'

'A primer of peace

'I have sought to advance along the path marked out by my venerable Predecessor. 'The result has been a synthesis of teaching about peace which is a kind of primer on this fundamental theme: a primer easy to understand by those who are well-disposed, but at the same time quite demanding for anyone concerned for the future of humanity.

'We Christians see the commitment to educate ourselves and others to peace as something at the very heart of our religion. For Christians, in fact, to proclaim peace is to announce Christ who is 'our peace' (Eph 2:14); it is to announce his Gospel, which is a 'Gospel of peace' (Eph 6:15); it is to call all people to the beatitude of being 'peacemakers' (cf. Mt 5:9).

'Teaching peace
'In my Message for the World Day of Peace on 1 January 1979 I made this appeal: To Reach Peace, Teach Peace. Today that appeal is more urgent than ever, because men and women, in the face of the tragedies which continue to afflict humanity, are tempted to yield to fatalism, as if peace were an unattainable ideal.'

'Peace is possible. ' Peace is a duty. It must be built on the four pillars indicated by Blessed John XXIII in his Encyclical 'Pacem in Terris': truth, justice, love and freedom.'

'Teaching legality

'In this task of teaching peace, there is a particularly urgent need to lead individuals and peoples to respect the international order and to respect the commitments assumed by the Authorities which legitimately represent them.'
'From the very dawn of civilization, developing human communities sought to establish agreements and pacts which would avoid the arbitrary use of force and enable them to seek a peaceful solution of any controversies which might arise. Alongside the legal systems of the individual peoples there progressively grew up another set of norms which came to be known as 'ius gentium' (the law of the nations). With the passage of time, this body of law gradually expanded and was refined in the light of the historical experiences of the different peoples.'

'From the sixteenth century on, jurists, philosophers and theologians were engaged in developing the various headings of international law and in grounding it in the fundamental postulates of the natural law. This process led with increasing force to the formulation of universal principles which are prior to and superior to the internal law of States.'
'Central among all these is surely the principle that 'pacta sunt servanda': accords freely signed must be honored. This is the pivotal and exceptionless presupposition of every relationship between responsible contracting parties. The violation of this principle necessarily leads to a situation of illegality and consequently to friction and disputes which would not fail to have lasting negative repercussions. It is appropriate to recall this fundamental rule, especially at times when there is a temptation to appeal to the law of force rather than to the force of law.'

'Respect for law

'(World War II), with the horrors and the appalling violations of human dignity which it occasioned, led to a profound renewal of the international legal order. ' The task of watching over global peace and security and with encouraging the efforts of States to preserve and guarantee these fundamental goods of humanity was entrusted by Governments to an organization established for this purpose ' the United Nations Organization ' with a Security Council invested with broad discretionary power. Pivotal to the system was the prohibition of the use of force. This prohibition, according to the well-known Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, makes provision for only two exceptions. The first confirms the natural right to legitimate defense, to be exercised in specific ways and in the context of the United Nations: and consequently also within the traditional limits of necessity and proportionality.

'The other exception is represented by the system of collective security, which gives the Security Council competence and responsibility for the preservation of peace, with power of decision and ample discretion.'

'A new international order

'It must be acknowledged, however, that the United Nations Organization, even with limitations and delays due in great part to the failures of its members, has made a notable contribution to the promotion of respect for human dignity, the freedom of peoples and the requirements of development, thus preparing the cultural and institutional soil for the building of peace.'

'The ideals of the United Nations have become widely diffused, particularly through the practical gestures of solidarity and peace made by the many individuals also involved in Non-Governmental Organizations and in Movements for human rights.

'This represents a significant incentive for a reform which would enable the United Nations Organization to function effectively for the pursuit of its own stated ends, which remain valid: 'humanity today is in a new and more difficult phase of its genuine development. It needs a greater degree of international ordering'(.')

'The deadly scourge of terrorism

'Today international law is hard pressed to provide solutions to situations of conflict arising from the changed landscape of the contemporary world. These situations of conflict frequently involve agents which are not themselves States but rather entities derived from the collapse of States, or connected to independence movements, or linked to trained criminal organizations. A legal system made up of norms established down the centuries as a means of disciplining relations between sovereign States finds it difficult to deal with conflicts which also involve entities incapable of being considered States in the traditional sense. This is particularly the case with terrorist groups. 'The scourge of terrorism has become more virulent in recent years and has produced brutal massacres.'

'Even so, if it is to be won, the fight against terrorism cannot be limited solely to repressive and punitive operations. It is essential that the use of force, even when necessary, be accompanied by a courageous and lucid analysis of the reasons behind terrorist attacks. The fight against terrorism must be conducted also on the political and educational levels: on the one hand, by eliminating the underlying causes of situations of injustice which frequently drive people to more desperate and violent acts; and on the other hand, by insisting on an education inspired by respect for human life in every situation.'

'In the necessary fight against terrorism, international law is now called to develop legal instruments provided with effective means for the prevention, monitoring and suppression of crime. In any event, democratic governments know well that the use of force against terrorists cannot justify a renunciation of the principles of the rule of law. Political decisions would be unacceptable were they to seek success without consideration for fundamental human rights, since the end never justifies the means.

'The contribution of the Church

''Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God' 'Why else would peacemakers be called children of God, if not because God is by nature the God of peace? Precisely for this reason, in the message of salvation which the Church proclaims throughout the world, there are doctrinal elements of fundamental importance for the development of the principles needed for peaceful coexistence between nations.'

'International law must ensure that the law of the more powerful does not prevail. Its essential purpose is to replace 'the material force of arms with the moral force of law', providing appropriate sanctions for transgressors and adequate reparation for victims. This must also be applicable to those government leaders who violate with impunity human dignity and rights while hiding behind the unacceptable pretext that it is a matter of questions internal to their State.

'In an Address which I gave to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See on 13 January 1997, I observed that ' 'morality must inspire law; morality can even assume a preparatory role in the making of law, to the extent that it shows the path of what is right and good'.

'Down the centuries, the teaching of the Church, drawing upon the philosophical and theological reflection of many Christian thinkers, has made a significant contribution in directing international law to the common good of the whole human family.'

'The civilization of love

'At the conclusion of these considerations, I feel it necessary to repeat that, for the establishment of true peace in the world, justice must find its fulfillment in charity. ' In fact they are but two faces of a single reality, two dimensions of human life needing to be mutually integrated. ' By itself, justice is not enough. Indeed, it can even betray itself, unless it is open to that deeper power which is love.

'For this reason I have often reminded Christians and all persons of good will that forgiveness is needed for solving the problems of individuals and peoples. There is no peace without forgiveness! I say it again here, as my thoughts turn in particular to the continuing crisis in Palestine and the Middle East: a solution to the grave problems which for too long have caused suffering for the peoples of those regions will not be found until a decision is made to transcend the logic of simple justice and to be open also to the logic of forgiveness.

'Christians know that love is the reason for God's entering into relationship with man. ' Love is also the loftiest and most noble form of relationship possible between human beings. Love must thus enliven every sector of human life and extend to the international order. Only a humanity in which there reigns the 'civilization of love' will be able to enjoy authentic and lasting peace.'

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VATICAN CITY, DEC 16, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Archbishop Carlo Caffarra of Ferrara-Comacchio, Italy, as metropolitan archbishop of Bologna (area 3,459, population 937,808, Catholics 919,135, priests 743, religious 1,421, permanent deacons 76), Italy. He succeeds Cardinal Archbishop Giacomo Biffi whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted upon having reached the age limit.

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