International Law Must Respect Moral Truths, Says Pope

Meets With Members of World Jurist Association

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 4, 2004 (Zenit.org).- International law must respect spiritual and moral truths if it is to be at the service of individuals, peoples and nations, says John Paul II.



The Pope emphasized the need for juridical systems to be "at the real service" of human beings, particularly the poor, when he met today with representatives of the World Jurist Association, which is holding a conference in Rome on "Privatization, Banking and Cross-Border Insolvency."

In addition to foreign trade and investment policies, the conference is analyzing "globalization and regional economic integration, the World Trade Organization, recent trends in cross border insolvency, offshore banking, and other pertinent issues," an association source told ZENIT.

"The theme of your discussions focuses on the legal aspects of certain economic questions facing our increasingly globalized world," the Pope began by saying, in response to the address of the Ukrainian president of the jurist association, Valerij Yevdokimov.

"In order for legal systems and juridical instruments to be of real service to all men and women, especially the poor and disadvantaged, they must uphold the whole truth of the human person," the Holy Father said.

"It is therefore of utmost importance that the various expressions of international law recognize and respect those moral and spiritual truths that are necessary for properly defending and promoting the dignity and freedom of individuals, peoples and nations," he concluded.

"A world ruled by law, not force," has been the primary goal of the World Jurist Association since its founding in 1963.

Today, the WJA is represented in more 140 countries and lists among its supporters many former and current U.S. and foreign leaders, and more than 100 retired and sitting chief-justices.