Saturday, October 5, 2013

Inhuman crisis

 Pope Francis said that "the current world economic crisis is inhuman, being a grave symptom of the disrespect for man and for truth with which governments and citizens make decisions" . These strong words were pronounced at the end of a 3 day Vatican conference gathering experts from Catholic universities and institutions and from the UN, Council of Europe, the African Union and the organization of American states  to discuss the relevance of the Encyclical letter 'Pacem in Terris" (peace on Earth) in the promotion of a more peaceful world.

The Encyclical underlines the importance of respect of human rights as an essential pillar of modern Christianity. It clearly establishes: "Man has the right to live. He has the right to bodily integrity and to the means necessary for the proper development of life, particularly food, clothing, shelter, medical care, rest, and, finally, the necessary social services".  But it also calls for better relations between men and States, the need for equality among  nations and mutual assistance.  

John's call for peace in 1962 was an attempt to promote international dialogue on the basis of mutual respect and solidarity.  This message was not heard by world powers, as tensions escalated with the rise of the Berlin Wall, the Vietnam War, the nuclear race and so on. Now, Pope Francis urges to build on this universal message to meet the challenges of peace today; what he described as an "educational emergency", " the impact of the mass media on consciences, access to the earth's resources, " the ethical use of biological research", " the arms race and national and international security measures".

The basis of peace making exists because it is in the nature of men. Individuals, families, the society and the States are called to contribute "to build peace, on the example of Jesus Christ... by promoting and practicing justice with truth and love…(and) contributing…to integral human development” through solidarity. And that means an end to “egoism, individualism, and group interests at every level. ”But has today’s world learned any lessons from Pacem in Terris?  “Are the words justice and solidarity” found “solely in our dictionary or are we all working to realize them?”

Pacem in Terris reminds us that “there can be no real peace and harmony if we fail to work for a more just” and jointly supportive society. Every human being shares a common dignity “to promote, respect and safeguard always. ”Priority national and international action,  must work towards a world where everyone is able “to effectively access food, water, shelter , health care, education and (be given) the possibility to form and support a family.” 

"Pacem in terris traces a line that goes from the peace to be built in the heart of men to a rethinking of our model of development and action at all levels, so that our world is a world of peace". Despite the fall of walls and barriers, the message of the Encyclical remains extremely relevant. There cannot be peace if there is no fair development of all men of the Earth! These words have a savor of revolution today. 

P.S: All quotations are extracted from the English version of the address made (in Italian) by Pope Francis on 3rd October

No comments:

Post a Comment