'63 Encyclical to Be Focus of Congress in Rome

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 8, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Opposing political ideologies, the source of world friction 40 years ago, have been replaced by differences more of a religious nature, a Vatican aide says.

This is the great difference in the international scene since the height of the Cold War, when Pope John XXIII wrote his encyclical "Pacem in Terris" on peace, and today, said Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

"If 40 years ago, for example, there was the situation of two blocs, which were opposed to one another in a very bitter confrontation, today there is, perhaps, a lack of dialogue," the bishop said.

He made his comment over Vatican Radio when discussing the international congress "Forty Years After 'Pacem in Terris': The New Signs of the Times."

The congress will be held in Rome this Thursday and Friday, as a joint endeavor of the pontifical council and the Lateran University. Experts on Church social doctrine will discuss topics such as legitimacy and legitimation in democracy, and international cooperation.