Archbishop Martino Urges a World Order Built on Solidarity

President of Council for Justice and Peace Addresses International Congress

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ROME, MAY 25, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Freedom and restoration of law have "never been reached through the use of force," says the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.



Archbishop Renato Martino made that assertion during a two-day international congress at the Gregorian University on "The Church and the International Order." The congress ended Saturday.

The university and the Jacques Maritain International Institute organized the event to mark the 40th anniversary of Pope John XXIII's encyclical "Pacem in Terris."

In a general introduction, Archbishop Martino said that the "centrality of the human person and the natural relation between individuals and nations are the fundamental indications of the social doctrine of the Church for the international community, whose regulation must be finalized to guarantee the effective universal common good of humanity, protecting the physiognomy and identity of each people."

The Church's social teaching founds world order on ethical and juridical values tending toward solidarity and collaboration among the various political communities, the archbishop said.

He said that the main purpose of the doctrine is to bind relations between nations with the concept of international justice as an essential component of the common good.

Archbishop Martino contended that "freedom and restoration of law have never been reached through the use of force and war." He added that "normative instruments alternative to armed force, already existing in international law, must be rethought in order to render them responsive to the effective needs of the international community."

"In the prospective outlined by the social teaching of the Church for a new world order, the international community must not propose itself as a simple moment of aggregation in the life of nations," he said.

"It must become an effective structure in which conflicts can be peacefully resolved and the interests of the single parties involved safeguarded and recomposed on the basis of authentic justice," the Vatican official said.

He insisted that the action and evolution of international law must also be finalized to favor socioeconomic development with the overcoming of the persistent and serious unbalance between countries, regions and peoples.

Archbishop Martino also recalled that "the social teaching of the Church calls insistently for the constitution of public powers at the world level" and that "conflicts between peoples and nations can only be overcome through consultation, that is, the installation of a network of relations aimed at reaching common objectives and effective cooperation."

Only then will we see the realization of hopes expressed in "Pacem in Terris," he said.

"There is reason to hope," the archbishop added, "however, that by meeting and negotiating, men may come to discover better the bonds that unite them, deriving from the human nature which they have in common; and that they may also come to discover that one of the most profound requirements of their common nature is this: That between them and their respective peoples, it is not fear which should reign but love, a love that tends to express itself in a collaboration that is loyal, manifold in form, and productive of many benefits."