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Overcome evil with good

 

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World Day of Peace

30/12/2004: Vatican

Ever since Paul VI instituted the World Day of Peace (1968), each year the Holy Father has sent a message “to the leaders of nations and all men and women of good will, who recognise the need to build peace in the world.” This year’s message has as its title: “Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good”.
John Paul II recalls that evil is not some impersonal, deterministic force but rather it always has a name and a face: the name and face of those men and women who freely decide to ignore the demands of love.
“We cannot help but note,” writes the Pope, “the disturbing spread of various social and political manifestations of evil: from social disorders to anarchy and war, from injustice to acts of violence and killing.” To steer a path of peace it is necessary to make reference to the “grammar” of the universal law that unites human beings, despite their different cultures.
This is a grammar that requires ever-greater commitment and responsibility in ensuring that the life of individuals and of people is respected and advanced. For this it is important to acknowledge that violence is an unacceptable evil and that it never solves problems.
The Pope takes time to speak of the common good and that each person, in some way, is called to work for this. He emphasises strongly that since the good of peace is closely linked to the development of all peoples, the ethical requirements for the use of the earth’s goods must always be taken into account. The Pope adds that the good of peace should also be seen today as closely related to the new goods derived from progress in science and technology.
In the final section, the Holy Father invites us to confront “the challenge of poverty” introduced in a global context with a call to regulate the use of public goods through a broader network of juridical accords and to examine the serious problem of the foreign debt of poor countries that heavily affects their development.
The Pope finishes by inviting all, as God’s family to make our own effective contribution to building a world based on the values of justice, freedom and peace.

Message for the celebration of the world day of peace

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