Page 6, 19th April 1963

19th April 1963
Page 6
Page 6, 19th April 1963 — PACEM IN TERRIS

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POPE JOHN'S encyclical on peace, entitled Parent in Ferris, is divided into five main sections. The principal themes of each are as follows : 1. Order between men. The Individual human person's rights include the right to social security in sickness. widowhood. old age and unemployment; freedom in searching for truth and expressing opinions: and the right to emigrate and immigrate.

2. Relations between individuals and the public authorities within a single state: Civil authorities must give attention to the social as well as the economic progress of the citizens. They must, however, seek to expand. and not curtail, the individual's freedom of personal initiative.

3. Relations between states: States must co-operate to strike a proper balance between population, land and capital. Wealthy nations must help the poorer. but not with a view to political domination.

The arms race must cease. stockpiles of nuclear weapons reduced equally and simultaneously, nuclear ear banned. and a general agreement must he reached on progressive disarmament with effective control, 4. Relationship of men and of political communities to the world community: The universal common good requires the establishment. by common accord and not by force. of a public authority to operate on a world wide basis. The Pope's earnest wish is that the United Nations will Femme a guarantee of human rights for each and every living human being.

5. Pastoral exhortations: Catholics and non-Catholics (including unbelievers) can work together for the common good over a wide field. as understanding of the Natural Law is open to all men of reason and goodwill.

There is a difference between error and the person who errs. His very nature will lead him to break through error to the point where he is open to the truth. Meetings and agreements in the various sectors of daily life between believers and those in error can be occasions for the discovery of truth.

There is also a difference between false philosophies and movements which they inspire. The movements work on actual historical situations, and, in doing so. are subject to constant evolution.

Attempts by believers and those in error to draw nearer together for attaining practical ends, formerly considered inopportune or unproductive. might now or in the future prove to be opportune and useful. (This is taken to include


EVERY man has the right to life, to bodily integrity, and to the means which are necessary and suitable for the proper development of life; these are primarily food, clothing, shelter, rest, medical care, and finally the necessary social services.

Therefore, a human being also has the right to security in cases of sickness, inability to work, widowhood, old age. unemployment, or in any other case in which he is deprived of the means of subsistence through no fault of his own.

By the Natural Law, every human being has the right to respect for his person, to his good reputation: the right to freedom in searching for truth, and in expressing and eommtmicating his opinions, and in the pursuit of art, within the limits laid down by the moral order and the common good; and he has the right to be informed truthfully about public events.

The Natural Law also gives man the right to share in the benefits of culture, and therefore the right to a basic education and to technical and professional training in keeping with the stage of educational development in the country to which he belongs.

Every effort should be made to ensure that persons be enabled, on the basis of merit, to go on to higher studies, so that as far as possible. they may occupy posts and take on resporsibilities in human society in accordance with their natural gifts and the skills they have acquired.

Every human being has the right to honour God according to the dictates of an upright conscience, and therefore the right to worship God privately and publicly.

The family grourded on marriage freely contracted, monogamous and indissoluble, is and must be considered the first and essential cell of human society.

To it must be given every consideration of an economic. social, cultural and moral nature which will strengthen its stability and facilitate the fulfilment of its specific mission. Parents however, have a prior right in the support and education of their children.

Every human being has the right to freedom of movement and of residence within the confines of his own country; and. when there are just reasons for it. the right to emigrate to other countries and take up residence there.

Racial complex

Men all over the world today have — or soon will have — the rank of citizens in independent nations, No one wants to feel subject to political powers located outside his own country or ethnical group.

Thus, in very many human lacings the inferiority complex

which endured for hundreds and thousands of years is disappearing. while in others there is art attenuation and gradual fading of the corresponding superiority complex which had its roots in socialeconomic privileges. sex or political standing.

On the contrary, the conviction that all men are equal by reason of their natural dignity has been generally accepted. Hence racial discrimination can no longer be justified . , . He who possesses certain rights has likewise the duty to claim those rights al marks of his dignity, while all others have the obligation to acknowledge those rights and respect them.


WHEN the civil authority uses as its only or its chief means either threats and fear of punishments or promises of rewards, it cannot effectively move

men to promote the common good of all. Even if it did so move them, this would be altogether opposed to their dignity as men, endowed with reason and free will.

As authority is chiefly concerned with moral force, it follows that civil authority must appeal primarily to the conscience of individual citizens, that is. to each one's ditty to collaborate readily for the common good of all.

Since the right to command is required by the moral order and has its source in God, it follows that, if civil authorities legislate for or allow anything that is contrary to that order and therefore contrary to the will of God, neither the laws made nor the authorisations granted can be binding on the consciences of the citizens, since God has more right to be obeyed than men.

It must not be concluded, however, because authority comes from God. that therefore men have no right to choose those who are to rule the state. to decide the form of government, and to determine both the way in which authority is to be exercised and its limits. It is thus clear that the doctrine which We have set forth is fully consonant with any truly democratic regime.

State duties

It is necessary that the administration give wholehearted and careful attention to the social as well as to the economic progress of the citizens, and to the development, in keeping with the development of the productive system. of such essential services as the building of roads, transportation, communications, water supply, housing. public health, education, facilitation of the practice of religion, and recreational facilities.

The government should make similarly effective efforts to see that those who are able to work can find employment in keeping with their aptitudes. and that each worker receives a wage in keeping with the laws of equity and justice.

It should be equally the concern of civil authorities to ensure that workers be allowed their proper responsibility in the work undertaken in industrial organisation ... Finally, it should be possible for all the citizens to share as far as they are able in their country's cultural advantages.

The common good requires that civil authorities maintain a careful balance between co-ordinating and protecting the rights of the citizens on the one hand, and promoting them, on the other.

It should not happen that certain individuals or social groups derive special advantage from the fact that their rights have received preferential protection. Nor should it happen that governments, in seeking to protect these rights, become obstacles to their full expression and free use.

Kind of rule

In determining the structure and operation of government which a state is to have, great weight has to be given to the historical background and circumstances of given political communities, circumstances which will vary at different times and in different places.

We consider, however, that it is in keeping with the innate demands of human nature that the state should take a form which embodies the three-fold division of powers corresponding to the three principle functions of public executive),

3. judicial and cu


THE individual representatives of political communities cannot put aside their personal dignity while they are acting in the name and interest of their countries; and that they cannot therefore violate the very law of their being, which is the moral law.

Truth calls above all for the elimination of every trace of racism, and the consequent recognition of the principle that all States are by nature equal in dignity. Each of them is vested with the right . . to be the one prim

arily responsible for (its) selfdevelopment.

Individuals will be found to differ considerably, in knowledge, virtue, talent and wealth. Yet these inequalities must never be held to excuse any man's attempt to lord it over his neighbours unjustly. They constitute rather a source of greater responsibility in the contribution which each and every one must make towards mutual improvement.

The demands of justice are admirably observed by those civil authorities who promote the natural betterment of those citizens belonging to a smaller ethnic group, particularly when that betterment concerns their language. the development of their natural gifts, their ancestral customs, and their accomplishments and endeavours in the economic order.

The elements which characterise an ethnic group must not be transformed into a watertight compartment in which human beings are prevented from communicating with their fellow men belonging to different ethnic groups. Human beings . . . have the right and duty to live in corn munion with one another.

There are countries with an abundance of arable land and a scarcity of manpower, while in other countries there is no proportion between natural resources and the capital available. This demands that people should set up relationships of mutual collaboration, facilitating the circulation from one to the other of capital, goods and manpower.

Whenever possible, the work to be done should be taken to the workers, not vice versa.


It is with deep sorrow that We note the enormous stocks of armaments that have been and still are being made in more economically developed countries, with a vast outlay of intellectual and economic resources.

And so it happens that, while the people of these countries are loaded with heavy burdens, other countries as a result are deprived of the collaboration they need in order to make economic and social progress.

People live in constant fear lest the storm that every moment threatens should break upon them with dreadful violence. And with good reason, for the arms of war are ready at hand.

Even though the monstrous power of modern weapons acts as a deterrent, it is to be feared that the mere continuance of nuclear tests, undertaken with war in mind, will have fatal consequences for life on the earth.

Justice, then, right. reason and humanity urgently demand that the arms race should cease; that

the stockpiles which exist in various countries should be reduced equally and simultaneously by the parties concerned; that nuclear weapons should be banned; and that a general agreement should eventually be reached about progressive disarmament and an effective method of control.

There is no hope of putting an end to the building up of armaments . . . unless the process is complete and thorough and unless it proceeds from inner conviction.

Mutual trust

The fundamental principle on which our present peace depends must be replaced by another, which declares that the true and solid peace of nations consists not in equality of arms but in mutual trust alone. We believe that this can he brought to pass.

Men are becoming more and more convinces! that disputes which arise between states should not be resolved by recourse to arms, but rather by negotiation.

It is true that on historical grounds this conviction is based chiefly on the terrible destructive force of modern arms; and it is nourished by the horror aroused in the mind by the very thought of the cruel destruction and the immense suffering which the use of those armaments would bring to the human family; and for this reason it is hardly possible to imagine that in the atomic era war could be used as a instrument of justice,

Nevertheless, unfortunately, the law of fear still reigns among peoples, and it forces them to spend fabulous sums for armaments: not for aggression, they affirm — and there is no reason for not believing them — but to dissuade others from aggression.

There is reason to hope, however, that by meeting and negotiating, men may came to discover better the bonds that unite them together, deriving from the human nature which they have in common; and that they may also conic to discover that one of the most profound requirements of their common nature is this: that between them and their respective peoples it is not fear which should reign but love. a love which tends to express itself in a collaboration that is loyal. manifold in form and productive of many benefits.


IN times past, one would have been justified in feeling that the public authorities of the different political communities might be in a position to provide for the universal common good, either through normal diplomatic channels or through top-level meetings, by making use of juridical instruments such as conventions and treaties. for example juridical instruments suggested by the Natural Law and regulated by the law of nations and international law.

As a result of far-reaching changes which have taken place in the relations between the human family, the universal common good gives rise to problems which are complex, very grave and extremely urgent, especially as regards security and world peace.

The public authorities of the individual political communities . no matter bow much they multiply their meetings, or sharpen their wits, in efforts to draw up new juridical instruments, are no longer capable of facing the task of finding an adequate solution to the problems mentioned above. And this is not due to a lack of good will, or of a spirit of enterprise, but because of a structural defect which hinders them.

At this historical moment, the present system of organisation and the way its principle of authority operates on a world basis no longer correspond to the objective requirements of the universal common good.

World authority

The universal commoo. good 'poses przblems of world wide dimensions, which cannot be adequately tackled or solved except by the efforts of public authorities endowed with a wideness of powers, structure and means of the same proportions: that is, of public authorities which are in a position to operate in an effective manner on a world-wide basis.

The moral order itself. therefore, demands that such a form of public authority be established . . by common accord and not imposed by force.

It is Our earnest wish that the United Nations Organisation — in its structure and in its means may become ever more equal to the magnitude and nobility of its tasks. and that the day may come when every human being will find therein an effective safeguard for the rights which derive directly from his dignity as a person, and which are therefore universal, inviolable and inalienable rights.


T"doctrinal principles outlined in this document derive from or are suggested by requirements inherent in human nature itself, and are, for the most part, dictates of the Natural Law.

They provide Catholics, therefore, with a vast field in which they can meet and come to art understanding both with Christians separated from this Apostolic See, and also with human beings who are not enlightened by faith in Jesus Christ, but who are endowed with the light of reason and with a natural and operative honesty.

(The faithful are never to compromise in matters of religion and morals. At the same time they are

to be animated by a spirit of understanding and disposed to work loyally in pursuit of objectives which are good or conducive to good).

However, one must never confuse error and the person who errs, not even when there is question of error or inadequate knowledge of truth in the moral or religious field. The person who errs is always and above all a human being, and he retains in every case his dignity as a human person: and he must be always regarded and treated in accordance with that lofty dignity.

Besides, in every human being, there is a need that is congenital to his nature and never becomes extinguished, compelling him to break through the web of error and open his mind to the knowledge of truth.

And God will never fail to act on his interior being, with the result that a person who. at a given moment of his life. lacks the clarity of faith or even adheres to erroneous doctrines. can at a future date be enlightened and believe the truth.

Communists ?

Meetings and agreements. in the various sectors of daily life between believers and those who do not believe, or believe insufficiently because they adhere to error, can be occasions for discovering truth and paying homage to it.

It must be bornebnocrintheer in mind, philosophical teachings regarding the nature, origin and destiny of the universe and of man. be identified with historical movements that have economic, social, cultural or political ends. not even when these movements have originated from those teachings and have drawn and still draw inspiration therefrom.

The teachings, once they are drawn up and defined, remain always the same. while the movements, working on historical situations in constant evolution, cannot but be influenced by these latter and cannot avoid, therefore, being subject to changes, even of a profound nature.

Besides, who can deny that those movements, in so far as they conform to the dictates of right reason and are interpreters of the lawful aspirations of the human person. contain elements that are positive and deserving of approval.

t can happen, then, that a drawing nearer together or a meeting for the attainment of some practical end, which was formerly deemed inopportune or unproductive, might now or in the future be considered opportune and useful.

To decide whether this moment has arrived, and also to lay down the ways and degrees in which work in common might be possible .. . can only be solved with the virtue of prudence.

As far as Catholics are con cerned, this decision rests primarily with those who live and work in the specific sectors of human society in which those probema arise. always, however, in accordance with the principles of Natural Law, with the social deetrine of the Church, and with the directives of ecclesiastical authority.

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