Cardinal Highlights "ABC's of Peace"

In Course for Military Chaplains

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ITAICI, Brazil, JUNE 11, 2008 (Zenit.org).- To avoid war, leaders must first consult the "ABC's of peace" that are written on the hearts and minds of all people, says the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.



Cardinal Raffaele Martino said this Tuesday during a course for military chaplains, held in Itaici.

The meeting was organized by Archbishop Osvino José Both of the Military Ordinate of Brazil, to address the spiritual care of members of the armed forces.

"Peace is possible if men acknowledge one another reciprocally as titulars of inalienable rights connected to their original nature," said Cardinal Martino.

"The ABC's of peace have been written by the Creator in the mind and heart of persons," he added, "and can overcome any irrational propensity to war."

The cardinal said that "the Christian military man is called not only to prevent, address and put a stop to conflicts, but to contribute to reconciliation and the construction of an order based on truth, justice, love and liberty."

Consequently, the military, who are increasingly involved in humanitarian operations and missions of peace, are perceived as "ministers of security and liberty," added the dicastery president.

Cardinal Martino underlined the importance of the "evangelization and catechesis" of military personal "to promote charity -- in particular during armed conflicts -- the dignity of persons, the unity of the human family, and peace."

He also highlighted the need to form the military in international humanitarian law, which seeks to affirm human dignity and solidarity between the sides in conflict and mitigate the inhumanity of war.

In 2003 and 2008, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace organized two international courses on humanitarian law for the formation of Catholic military chaplains.