Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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Cardinal Turkson Discusses Church Teachings on Peace at Catholic University

Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., recently hosted the "Peacebuilding 2013: Pacem in Terris at 50" conference which examined a range of issues and the Church's teachings about peace.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace at the Vatican, joined other Church leaders, scholars, and policy makers in the conference highlighting Pope John XXIII's 1963 encyclical on peace, Pacem in Terris.

Speakers at the conference "examined issues from human rights and development to nuclear disarmament and reconciliation to U.S. foreign policy, noting that Pacem in Terris is a living document that remains fresh today," according to Catholic University.

Here's more from the University:

The starting point of the encyclical, said Turkson, “is human beings, humans created by God, endowed with dignity and bearers of rights and duties. It is also the starting point for understanding the relationships among all people, with the purpose of assuring those rights for all.”

Human dignity is the key to peace, said Cardinal Turkson. He presented three guides to peace building. The first is a focus on human rights, given to people by God. “Human beings have the right to live, to bodily integrity, and to the means necessary for the proper development of life,” he said.

Second is to follow the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. “In its popular English version, the prayer begins with the words ‘Make me a channel of your peace,’… Counter hatred with love, despair with hope, darkness with light.”

And third is to follow the teaching of Pope Francis. “The Holy Father has noted three key characteristics of St. Francis of Assisi – love for the poor, the striving for peace for which truth is essential, and care for all of nature,” said Cardinal Turkson. “He suggests a link between peace building and bridge building. We must build bridges of true dialogue and true fraternity if we are to build peace.”

Speaking on “Solidarity and U.S. Foreign Policy,” Bishop Richard Pates, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on International Justice and Peace, noted that Pope John XXIII “championed an international order based on truth, justice, willing cooperation, and freedom. He taught that peace is founded on truth, built up on justice, nurtured and animated by charity and brought into effect under the auspices of freedom.”

Catholic University of America is recommended at TheNewmanGuide.com for its strong Catholic identity.

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