Working Papers or "Veniam Pro Laudo Peto"
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Tuesday, December 21, 2004
The entire text of the Holy Father's message can be found at the website for the Holy See which is linked above.

VATICAN CITY, DEC 16, 2004 (VIS) - Pope John Paul's Message for World Day of Peace, January 1, 2005 was published today in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German and Portuguese. As the Pope himself wrote in the Message, dated December 8, 2004: "For the theme of this 2005 World Day of Peace I have chosen Saint Paul's words in the Letter to the Romans: 'Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good' (12:21)."

Following are excerpts from the 13-page document:

"The great Apostle brings out a fundamental truth: peace is the outcome of a long and demanding battle which is only won when evil is defeated by good. If we consider the tragic scenario of violent fratricidal conflicts in different parts of the world, and the untold sufferings and injustices to which they have given rise, the only truly constructive choice is, as Saint Paul proposes, to 'flee what is evil and hold fast to what is good' (cf. Rom 12:9).

"Peace is a good to be promoted with good: it is a good for individuals, for families, for nations and for all humanity."

"Evil, good and love "From the beginning, humanity has known the tragedy of evil and has struggled to grasp its roots and to explain its causes. Evil is not some impersonal, deterministic force at work in the world. It is the result of human freedom. ... Evil always has a name and a face: the name and face of those men and women who freely choose it. ... Each of these choices has an intrinsic moral dimension." "At its deepest level, evil is a tragic rejection of the demands of love. Moral good, on the other hand, is born of love, shows itself as love and is directed towards love." "The 'grammar' of the universal moral law "If we look to the present state of the world, we cannot help but note 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 between the conflicting claims of good and evil, the human family urgently needs to preserve and esteem that common patrimony of moral values bestowed by God himself." "This common grammar of the moral law requires ever greater commitment and responsibility in ensuring that the life of individuals and of peoples is respected and advanced. In this light, the evils of a social and political nature which afflict the world, particularly those provoked by outbreaks of violence, are to be vigorously condemned. I think immediately of the beloved continent of Africa, ... or the dangerous situation of Palestine, the Land of Jesus, ... the troubling phenomenon of terrorist violence, which appears to be driving the whole world towards a future of fear and anguish, ... the drama unfolding in Iraq, which has given rise to tragic situations of uncertainty and insecurity for all." "The good of peace and the common good "When the common good is promoted at every level, peace is promoted. ... 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 his own. This responsibility belongs in a particular way to political authorities at every level." "The common good therefore demands respect for and the integral promotion of the person and his fundamental rights, as well as respect for and the promotion of the rights of nations on the universal plane." "Certain reductive visions of humanity tend to present the common good as a purely socio-economic state of well-being lacking any transcendent purpose, thus emptying it of its deepest meaning. Yet the common good has a transcendent dimension, for God is the ultimate end of all His creatures." "The good of peace and the use of the world's goods "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." "As a member of the human family, each person becomes as it were a citizen of the world, with consequent duties and rights. ... By the mere fact of being conceived, a child is entitled to rights and deserving of care and attention; and someone has the duty to provide these. 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." "The good of peace will be better ensured if the international community takes on greater responsibility for what are commonly called public goods" such as "the judiciary system, the defense system and the network of highways and railways." "The principle of the universal destination of goods can also make possible a more effective approach to the challenge of poverty." "The tragedy of poverty remains closely linked to the issue of the foreign debt of poor countries." "What is urgently needed is a moral and economic mobilization. ... New impulse should be given to Public Aid for Development, and new forms of financing for development should be explored, whatever the difficulties entailed." "In my Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, I spoke of the urgent need for a new creativity in charity. ... This need is clearly seen when we consider the many difficult problems standing in the way of development in Africa: numerous armed conflicts, pandemic diseases aggravated by extreme poverty, and political instability leading to widespread insecurity." "May the peoples of Africa become the protagonists of their own future. ... May Africa cease to be a mere recipient of aid, and become a responsible agent of convinced and productive sharing!" "The universality of evil and Christian hope" "Based on the certainty that evil will not prevail, Christians nourish an invincible hope which sustains their efforts to promote justice and peace." "No man or woman of good will can renounce the struggle to overcome evil with good. This fight can be fought effectively only with the weapons of love. When good overcomes evil, love prevails and where love prevails, there peace prevails." "Christians ... should show by their lives that love is the only force capable of bringing fulfillment to persons and societies, the only force capable of directing the course of history in the way of goodness and peace."
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