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The Popes and the World Day of Peace (background)

December 30, 2011

On January 1, the Church will commemorate the 45th World Day of Peace. Pope Benedict’s message for the day is entitled “Educating Young People in Justice and Peace.”

In his message for the 1st World Day of Peace, Pope Paul VI wrote, “We address Ourselves to all men of good will to exhort them to celebrate ‘The Day of Peace,’ throughout the world, on the first day of the year, January 1, 1968. It is Our desire that then, every year, this commemoration be repeated as a hope and as a promise, at the beginning of the calendar which measures and outlines the path of human life in time, that Peace with its just and beneficent equilibrium may dominate the development of events to come.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church summarizes Catholic teaching on peace and just war in its treatment of the Fifth Commandment; the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church discusses Catholic teaching on peace in Chapter 11. Between 1914 and 1968, five popes wrote 21 encyclicals on peace. Since 1968, papal teaching on peace has primarily been expressed in the messages for the World Day of Peace.


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  • Posted by: impossible - Dec. 31, 2011 11:46 AM ET USA

    In section 5, what specifically does the Pope mean by, "the importance of seeking adequate mechanisms for the redistribution of wealth"? Jeff, Phil I would really appreciate your insights on what this means. Is there a mechanism that doesn't involve the arbitrary/forceful taking of wealth from some and giving it to others? Like a modern day French Revolution or what?