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Development leads to peace

VATICAN CITY ( Peace is unimaginable without the development of each person and all peoples, Pope Benedict XVI said recently.

The Pope affirmed this in a message made public on April 12, which he addressed to Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace president Cardinal Renato Martino.

The message was sent on the occasion of an April 11-12 conference in Rome titled: “Disarmament, Development and Peace: Prospects for Integral Disarmament”.

“Tension and war exist in various parts of the world,” the Holy Father wrote, “and even where the tragedy of war is not present, feelings of fear and insecurity are nonetheless widespread.

“Furthermore, such phenomena as global terrorism blur the distinction between peace and war, seriously compromising the future hopes of humankind.

“How can we respond to these challenges? How can we recognise the ‘signs of the times’?

“Certainly, joint action on a political, economic and juridical level is needed, but, even before that, it is necessary to reflect together on a moral and spiritual level.

“What is ever more vital is to promote a ‘new humanism’.”

Pope Benedict highlighted how “development cannot be reduced to simple economic growth; it must include the moral and spiritual dimension.

A truly integral humanism must, at the same time, also express solidarity.”

“True and lasting peace is unimaginable without the development of each person and of all peoples,” he said.

“Nor is it conceivable to think of reducing arms if first we do not eliminate violence at its roots, if man does not first turn decisively to searching for peace and for what is good and just.”

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