Saturday, July 14, 2012

Pope John XXIII - Pacem in Terris - Peace on Earth

Susan Brannon
13 July 2012

Pope John XXIII was born on 25 November 1881 until 3 June 1963.   In Easter week of 1963, less than two months before his death Pope John XXIII issued his encyclical letter, The Pacem in Terris meaning Peace on Earth.  Below is part of that text:

Peace on Earth, which men of every era have most eagerly yearned for, can be firmly established only if the order laid down by God be dutifully observed.
He created all things out of nothing, pouring into them the abundance of His wisdom and goodness.
God also created man in His own images and likeness, endowed him with intelligence and freedom,
and made him lord of creation.
How strongly does the turmoil of individual men and peoples contrast with the perfect order of the universe!
But the Creator of the world has imprinted in man's heart an order which his conscience reveals to him and enjoins him to obey.
The first and essential cell of human society.

Human beings have the natural right to free initiative in the economic field, and the right to work.
Women have the right to working conditions in accordance with their requirements and their duties as wives and mothers.
Furthermore, there is the right to a working wage, a standard of living in keeping with the dignity of the human person...the right of assembly and freedom of movement.
Every man has the right to life, to bodily integrity.
A human being also has the right to security in cases of sickness, inability to work, widowhood, old age, unemployment, or in any other case in which he is deprived of the means of subsistence through no fault of his own.

Every human being has the freedom in searching for truth and in expressing and communicating his opinions, to share in the benefits of culture, and therefore the right to a basic education.
Every human being has the right to honor God according to the dictates of an upright conscience.
The right of every man to life is correlative with the duty to preserve it.
Men are meant to live with others and to work for one another's welfare.
When the relations of human society are expressed in terms of rights and duties, men become...deeply aware that they belong to this world of values.
To safeguard the inviolable rights of the human person, and to facilitate the fulfillment of its duties, should be the essential office of every public authority.
Truth...calls for...the elimination of every trace of racism.
Political communities have the right to existence, development, and to the means necessary for this.
It is with deep sorrow that we note the enormous stocks of armaments that have been and still are being made.
People live in constant fear
lest the storm that every moment threatens should break upon them with dreadful violence.
And with good reason, for the arms of war are ready at hand.
Justice, then, right reason and humanity urgently demand that the arms race should cease; that the stockpiles which exist in various countries should be reduced equally and simultaneously by the parties concerned;
that nuclear weapons should be banned; and that a general agreement should eventually be reached about progressive disarmament and an effective method of control.
The public authority of the world community...must have as its fundamental objective
the recognition, respect, safeguarding, and promotion of the rights of the human person.
There is an immense task incumbent on all men of good will, namely, the task of restoring the relations of the human family in truth,  in justice, in love, and in freedom.
Every believer in this world of ours must be a spark of light.
This is the peace which we implore of Him with the ardent yearning of Our prayer

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