FROM MICHAEL WILSON IN VATICAN CITY
NEW men, new structures, new techniques and organisation can make peace possible, says a message from Pope Paul to be proclaimed next New Year's Day. Key points from the message were released last week.
They were made public so far in advance because of the need for immediate action on the Vietnam and Middle East conflicts and the need for local Churches in the world to intensify their efforts for peace.
Mgr. Joseph Gremillion, secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Justice and Peace, said the theme of the Pope's message — the sixth he had delivered for the World Day of Peace — was "Peace is possible."
In a printed paper which will be distributed throughout the world, Pope Paul says there have been 50 open conflicts since 1945, but that in the same period more than 200 have been prevented.
On existing organisations seeking to establish peace, Pope Paul says: "This equipment is still very inadequate. War needs techniques and technicians: peace needs these things. too, and even more so. Peace also requires spiritual men and theologians.
"Peace is as possible as war, if it is given as many means."
Reason One of the first means was science. Peace was not something that could be improvised: it called for scholars and institutes. "Making peace possible involves ensuring that it has at its disposal sufficient resources, both of men and money."
He envisages "new men" working for peace, not necessarily new men in the sense of replacing those in leadership. "It is not enough to stake everything on man. It is also necessary that these same men . . . should be capable of 'winning peace'. In brief, they should be formed, prepared, trained and be competent and enthusiastic . .." Peace depended to an equal extent on reason and on the will to find it. "Pt.ce is possible because men desire it.
"They desire it because they need it, just as the body needs health. A civil war, or merely a prolonged strike. increases tenfold this need for security, unity, harmony and solidarity in society."
Mastery Mgr. Gremillion pointed out that Pope Paul had in the past made three statements "which are of great importance."
Those were: That man had not been left on his own to attain his destiny but that a powerful and paternal force could intervene; that we had always to hold that peace was possible, not a dream, but a duty; and that all our efforts had to be used to make peace possible.
Pope Paul's analysis, said Mgr. Gremillion, was that "If peace must be made possible it is because peace is not a blind, fideistic or dictatorial imperative. Peace is neither inevitable nor automatic. It is not the product of chadte . .
"Given from on high by God, it is entrusted by Him to our freedom. This was so in the paSt. It is even more so now. Peace today depends upon man.
"Man is in a completely new situation in relation to the world, through science, tech nology, culture and the progress of the social and psycho-sociological sciences : he is imposing his mastery on the cosmos. He knows more and he is capable of more ...
"One can no longer speak of the future in terms of the past. What was unattainable yesterday may be attainable today."
Gift of car to parish priest
PARISHIONERS of F*. Mary's, Hornchurch, Essex, have presented their parish priest, Mgr. Daniel Shanahan, with a car to celebrate the silver jubilee of his ordination. The presentation was made last week after 'Mass said by Bishop Casey of Brentwood.
Mgr. Shanahan, who was previously curate in Wanstead, London, studied in Rome for three years and acted as Chancellor of Brentwood from 1952 to 1963.
Children of St. Mary's Primary School, priests of the diocese and parishioners were in St. Mary's parish hall for the presentation and attended the reception afterwards.