Home | Families | Educators | Children & Youth | Religious Leaders | Newsletters | Advocacy

Pope John Paul II’s Final Plea for Peace

Excerpts from His World Day of Peace Message, January 1, 2005



The Need to Reject Violence Everywhere:


“To attain the good of peace, there must be a clear and conscious acknowledgement that violence is an unacceptable evil and that it never solves problems.  Violence is a lie, for it goes against the truth of our faith, the truth of our humanity.  Violence destroys what it claims to defend: the dignity, the life, the freedom of human beings.  What is needed is a great effort to form consciences and to educate the younger generation to goodness by upholding that integral and fraternal humanism which the Church proclaims and promotes.”



Applied to Iraq:


How can we not think with profound regret of the drama unfolding in Iraq, which has given rise to tragic situations of uncertainty and insecurity for all?”



Peace and the Common Good:


“Fostering peace by overcoming evil with good requi8res careful reflection on the common good and on its social and political implications.  When the common good is promoted at every level, peace is promoted.  Can an individual find complete fulfillment without taking account of their social nature, that is, their being ‘with’ and ‘for’ others?… Each person, in some way, is called to work for the common good, constantly looking out for the good of others as if it were their own.  This responsibility belongs in a particular way to political authorities at every level, since they are called to create that sum of social conditions which permit and foster in human beings the integral development of their person.


“The increasingly close interdependence gradually encompassing the entire world is leading to an increasingly universal common good… and this involves rights and duties with respect to the whole human race.  Every social group must take account of the needs and legitimate aspirations of other groups and the common good of the entire human family.  The good of humanity as a whole calls for true international cooperation, to which every nation must offer is contribution.”



The Duties of World Citizenship:


“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 Second Vatican Council recalled that ‘God intended the earth and all it contains for the use of everyone and of all peoples; so that the good things of creation should be available equally to all, with justice as guide and charity in attendance.’


“As a member of the human family, each person becomes as it were a citizen of the world, with consequence duties and rights, since all human beings are united by a common origin and the same supreme destiny… The condemnation of racism, the protection of minors, the provision of aid to displaced persons and refugees, and the mobilization of international solidarity towards all the needy are nothing other than consistent applications of the principle of world citizenship.”