Holy See Releases Papal Message for World Day of Peace

Emphasizes Role of Peacemakers as Promoters of Life in Its Fullest Expression

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 14, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace along with Bishop Mario Toso, secretary of the same Council presented Pope Benedict XVI's Message for the 46th World Day of Peace.

The message, which focuses on the theme of the annual event: "Blessed are the peacemakers", was discussed at a press conference held in the Holy See Press Office.

Regarding the nature of the Papal message, Cardinal Turkson stated that while at first it may seem that the message is theoretical in nature, it is very much grounded in reality.

"It states a fact - the existence, in the midst of conflicts, tension and violence, of numerous peacemakers; in the explanation of the Gospel beatitude it explains that this is a promise that is guaranteed, in that it is made by God and does not refer merely to the future but already finds fulfillment in this life," Cardinal Turkson said.

"It clearly indicates the duties of peacemakers: they must promote life in its fullest expression, in its entirety and therefore in all the dimensions of the human person, and draws attention to urgent problems issues such as the correct vision of marriage, the right to conscientious objection, religious freedom, the issues of work and unemployment, the food crisis, the financial crisis, and the role of the family in education."

Cardinal Turkson also noted the message's "educational and pedagogical perspective" which he said was crucial in forming consciences.

"In this regard, the Pontiff calls for responsibility on the part of the various educational institutions who must form capable leaders and propose new economic and financial models," the Cardinal said.

"This is necessary to overcome the particularly grave situation the globalized world is currently facing, a phase of profound spiritual and moral crisis in which there are still bloody conflicts and numerous threats to peace."

Bishop Toso said that the Pope's Message for the World Day of Peace is "an invitation to become peacemakers" and that it aids in "protecting and implementing all the rights and duties of the individual and of communities."

The Italian prelate said that the message also calls on humanity to prevent the erosion of social rights, especially the right to work.

"This is in spite of the context of economic recession, provoked in part by the financial crisis which began in 2007, and ideologies of radical liberalism and technocracy according to which development can be achieved without social and democratic progress," he said.

Concluding his address, Bishop Toso said that Pope Benedict's message promoted the growth of the human family and peace among all.

"Peace is a common goal to be pursued as a community, to the full benefit of every human being and population", Bishop Toso said. 

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On ZENIT's web page:

For the full text of the Holy Father's message for the World Day of Peace, go to:

http://www.zenit.org/article-36183?l=english