Sunday, December 28, 2008

Peace On Earth by Pope John XXIII

Encyclical (Latin title Pacem in terris) written by Pope John XXIII on April 11, 1963.

Main points: The only way to ensure peace is to ensure a foundation that consists of specific social rights and responsibilities. The bulk of the encyclical goes on to list these, detailing rights and responsibilities that ought to exist (1) between people, (2) between people and their public authorities, (3) between states, and (4) among people and nations at the level of the world community. Some specifics: cultural changes demand that women have more rights; justice, right reason, and human dignity demand that the arms race must cease; the United Nations needs to be strengthened.

Context: Follows two early Cold War events—the erection of the Berlin Wall (August 1961) and the Cuban Missile Crisis (October 1962). This is the first encyclical addressed to Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

Innovation: Its optimistic tone and development of a philosophy of rights made a significant impression on Catholics and non-Catholics alike

1 comment:

Jack said...

Peace on Earth? Oh we cannot have that. We must oppress those we deem sinful, and celebrate our own self-righteousness. You know, because God forced himself upon us, which means we should, as good Christians, force him upon others.