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Pope Benedict Speech To UN 2008


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New York
Friday, 18 April 2008

Mr President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

As I begin my address to this Assembly, I would like first of all to express to you, Mr President, my sincere gratitude for your kind words. My thanks go also to the Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, for inviting me to visit the headquarters of this Organization and for the welcome that he has extended to me. I greet the Ambassadors and Diplomats from the Member States, and all those present. Through you, I greet the peoples who are represented here. They look to this institution to carry forward the founding inspiration to establish a “centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends” of peace and development (cf. Charter of the United Nations, article 1.2-1.4). As Pope John Paul II expressed it in 1995, the Organization should be “a moral centre where all the nations of the world feel at home and develop a shared awareness of being, as it were, a ‘family of nations’” (Address to the General Assembly of the United Nations on the 50th Anniversary of its Foundation, New York, 5 October 1995, 14).

Through the United Nations, States have established universal objectives which, even if they do not coincide with the total common good of the human family, undoubtedly represent a fundamental part of that good. The founding principles of the Organization – the desire for peace, the quest for justice, respect for the dignity of the person, humanitarian cooperation and assistance – express the just aspirations of the human spirit, and constitute the ideals which should underpin international relations. As my predecessors Paul VI and John Paul II have observed from this very podium, all this is something that the Catholic Church and the Holy See follow attentively and with interest, seeing in your activity an example of how issues and conflicts concerning the world community can be subject to common regulation. The United Nations embodies the aspiration for a “greater degree of international ordering” (John Paul II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 43), inspired and governed by the principle of subsidiarity, and therefore capable of responding to the demands of the human family through binding international rules and through structures capable of harmonizing the day-to-day unfolding of the lives of peoples. This is all the more necessary at a time when we experience the obvious paradox of a multilateral consensus that continues to be in crisis because it is still subordinated to the decisions of a few, whereas the world’s problems call for interventions in the form of collective action by the international community.

Indeed, questions of security, development goals, reduction of local and global inequalities, protection of the environment, of resources and of the climate, require all international leaders to act jointly and to show a readiness to work in good faith, respecting the law, and promoting solidarity with the weakest regions of the planet. I am thinking especially of those countries in Africa and other parts of the world which remain on the margins of authentic integral development, and are therefore at risk of experiencing only the negative effects of globalization. In the context of international relations, it is necessary to recognize the higher role played by rules and structures that are intrinsically ordered to promote the common good, and therefore to safeguard human freedom. These regulations do not limit freedom. On the contrary, they promote it when they prohibit behaviour and actions which work against the common good, curb its effective exercise and hence compromise the dignity of every human person. In the name of freedom, there has to be a correlation between rights and duties, by which every person is called to assume responsibility for his or her choices, made as a consequence of entering into relations with others. Here our thoughts turn also to the way the results of scientific research and technological advances have sometimes been applied. Notwithstanding the enormous benefits that humanity can gain, some instances of this represent a clear violation of the order of creation, to the point where not only is the sacred character of life contradicted, but the human person and the family are robbed of their natural identity. Likewise, international action to preserve the environment and to protect various forms of life on earth must not only guarantee a rational use of technology and science, but must also rediscover the authentic image of creation. This never requires a choice to be made between science and ethics: rather it is a question of adopting a scientific method that is truly respectful of ethical imperatives.

Recognition of the unity of the human family, and attention to the innate dignity of every man and woman, today find renewed emphasis in the principle of the responsibility to protect. This has only recently been defined, but it was already present implicitly at the origins of the United Nations, and is now increasingly characteristic of its activity. Every State has the primary duty to protect its own population from grave and sustained violations of human rights, as well as from the consequences of humanitarian crises, whether natural or man-made. If States are unable to guarantee such protection, the international community must intervene with the juridical means provided in the United Nations Charter and in other international instruments. The action of the international community and its institutions, provided that it respects the principles undergirding the international order, should never be interpreted as an unwarranted imposition or a limitation of sovereignty. On the contrary, it is indifference or failure to intervene that do the real damage. What is needed is a deeper search for ways of pre-empting and managing conflicts by exploring every possible diplomatic avenue, and giving attention and encouragement to even the faintest sign of dialogue or desire for reconciliation.

The principle of “responsibility to protect” was considered by the ancient ius gentium as the foundation of every action taken by those in government with regard to the governed: at the time when the concept of national sovereign States was first developing, the Dominican Friar Francisco de Vitoria, rightly considered as a precursor of the idea of the United Nations, described this responsibility as an aspect of natural reason shared by all nations, and the result of an international order whose task it was to regulate relations between peoples. Now, as then, this principle has to invoke the idea of the person as image of the Creator, the desire for the absolute and the essence of freedom. The founding of the United Nations, as we know, coincided with the profound upheavals that humanity experienced when reference to the meaning of transcendence and natural reason was abandoned, and in consequence, freedom and human dignity were grossly violated. When this happens, it threatens the objective foundations of the values inspiring and governing the international order and it undermines the cogent and inviolable principles formulated and consolidated by the United Nations. When faced with new and insistent challenges, it is a mistake to fall back on a pragmatic approach, limited to determining “common ground”, minimal in content and weak in its effect.

This reference to human dignity, which is the foundation and goal of the responsibility to protect, leads us to the theme we are specifically focusing upon this year, which marks the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This document was the outcome of a convergence of different religious and cultural traditions, all of them motivated by the common desire to place the human person at the heart of institutions, laws and the workings of society, and to consider the human person essential for the world of culture, religion and science. Human rights are increasingly being presented as the common language and the ethical substratum of international relations. At the same time, the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of human rights all serve as guarantees safeguarding human dignity. It is evident, though, that the rights recognized and expounded in the Declaration apply to everyone by virtue of the common origin of the person, who remains the high-point of God’s creative design for the world and for history. They are based on the natural law inscribed on human hearts and present in different cultures and civilizations. Removing human rights from this context would mean restricting their range and yielding to a relativistic conception, according to which the meaning and interpretation of rights could vary and their universality would be denied in the name of different cultural, political, social and even religious outlooks. This great variety of viewpoints must not be allowed to obscure the fact that not only rights are universal, but so too is the human person, the subject of those rights.

The life of the community, both domestically and internationally, clearly demonstrates that respect for rights, and the guarantees that follow from them, are measures of the common good that serve to evaluate the relationship between justice and injustice, development and poverty, security and conflict. The promotion of human rights remains the most effective strategy for eliminating inequalities between countries and social groups, and for increasing security. Indeed, the victims of hardship and despair, whose human dignity is violated with impunity, become easy prey to the call to violence, and they can then become violators of peace. The common good that human rights help to accomplish cannot, however, be attained merely by applying correct procedures, nor even less by achieving a balance between competing rights. The merit of the Universal Declaration is that it has enabled different cultures, juridical expressions and institutional models to converge around a fundamental nucleus of values, and hence of rights. Today, though, efforts need to be redoubled in the face of pressure to reinterpret the foundations of the Declaration and to compromise its inner unity so as to facilitate a move away from the protection of human dignity towards the satisfaction of simple interests, often particular interests. The Declaration was adopted as a “common standard of achievement” (Preamble) and cannot be applied piecemeal, according to trends or selective choices that merely run the risk of contradicting the unity of the human person and thus the indivisibility of human rights.

Experience shows that legality often prevails over justice when the insistence upon rights makes them appear as the exclusive result of legislative enactments or normative decisions taken by the various agencies of those in power. When presented purely in terms of legality, rights risk becoming weak propositions divorced from the ethical and rational dimension which is their foundation and their goal. The Universal Declaration, rather, has reinforced the conviction that respect for human rights is principally rooted in unchanging justice, on which the binding force of international proclamations is also based. This aspect is often overlooked when the attempt is made to deprive rights of their true function in the name of a narrowly utilitarian perspective. Since rights and the resulting duties follow naturally from human interaction, it is easy to forget that they are the fruit of a commonly held sense of justice built primarily upon solidarity among the members of society, and hence valid at all times and for all peoples. This intuition was expressed as early as the fifth century by Augustine of Hippo, one of the masters of our intellectual heritage. He taught that the saying: Do not do to others what you would not want done to you “cannot in any way vary according to the different understandings that have arisen in the world” (De Doctrina Christiana, III, 14). Human rights, then, must be respected as an expression of justice, and not merely because they are enforceable through the will of the legislators.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As history proceeds, new situations arise, and the attempt is made to link them to new rights. Discernment, that is, the capacity to distinguish good from evil, becomes even more essential in the context of demands that concern the very lives and conduct of persons, communities and peoples. In tackling the theme of rights, since important situations and profound realities are involved, discernment is both an indispensable and a fruitful virtue.

Discernment, then, shows that entrusting exclusively to individual States, with their laws and institutions, the final responsibility to meet the aspirations of persons, communities and entire peoples, can sometimes have consequences that exclude the possibility of a social order respectful of the dignity and rights of the person. On the other hand, a vision of life firmly anchored in the religious dimension can help to achieve this, since recognition of the transcendent value of every man and woman favours conversion of heart, which then leads to a commitment to resist violence, terrorism and war, and to promote justice and peace. This also provides the proper context for the inter-religious dialogue that the United Nations is called to support, just as it supports dialogue in other areas of human activity. Dialogue should be recognized as the means by which the various components of society can articulate their point of view and build consensus around the truth concerning particular values or goals. It pertains to the nature of religions, freely practised, that they can autonomously conduct a dialogue of thought and life. If at this level, too, the religious sphere is kept separate from political action, then great benefits ensue for individuals and communities. On the other hand, the United Nations can count on the results of dialogue between religions, and can draw fruit from the willingness of believers to place their experiences at the service of the common good. Their task is to propose a vision of faith not in terms of intolerance, discrimination and conflict, but in terms of complete respect for truth, coexistence, rights, and reconciliation.

Human rights, of course, must include the right to religious freedom, understood as the expression of a dimension that is at once individual and communitarian – a vision that brings out the unity of the person while clearly distinguishing between the dimension of the citizen and that of the believer. The activity of the United Nations in recent years has ensured that public debate gives space to viewpoints inspired by a religious vision in all its dimensions, including ritual, worship, education, dissemination of information and the freedom to profess and choose religion. It is inconceivable, then, that believers should have to suppress a part of themselves – their faith – in order to be active citizens. It should never be necessary to deny God in order to enjoy one’s rights. The rights associated with religion are all the more in need of protection if they are considered to clash with a prevailing secular ideology or with majority religious positions of an exclusive nature. The full guarantee of religious liberty cannot be limited to the free exercise of worship, but has to give due consideration to the public dimension of religion, and hence to the possibility of believers playing their part in building the social order. Indeed, they actually do so, for example through their influential and generous involvement in a vast network of initiatives which extend from Universities, scientific institutions and schools to health care agencies and charitable organizations in the service of the poorest and most marginalized. Refusal to recognize the contribution to society that is rooted in the religious dimension and in the quest for the Absolute – by its nature, expressing communion between persons – would effectively privilege an individualistic approach, and would fragment the unity of the person.

My presence at this Assembly is a sign of esteem for the United Nations, and it is intended to express the hope that the Organization will increasingly serve as a sign of unity between States and an instrument of service to the entire human family. It also demonstrates the willingness of the Catholic Church to offer her proper contribution to building international relations in a way that allows every person and every people to feel they can make a difference. In a manner that is consistent with her contribution in the ethical and moral sphere and the free activity of her faithful, the Church also works for the realization of these goals through the international activity of the Holy See. Indeed, the Holy See has always had a place at the assemblies of the Nations, thereby manifesting its specific character as a subject in the international domain. As the United Nations recently confirmed, the Holy See thereby makes its contribution according to the dispositions of international law, helps to define that law, and makes appeal to it.

The United Nations remains a privileged setting in which the Church is committed to contributing her experience “of humanity”, developed over the centuries among peoples of every race and culture, and placing it at the disposal of all members of the international community. This experience and activity, directed towards attaining freedom for every believer, seeks also to increase the protection given to the rights of the person. Those rights are grounded and shaped by the transcendent nature of the person, which permits men and women to pursue their journey of faith and their search for God in this world. Recognition of this dimension must be strengthened if we are to sustain humanity’s hope for a better world and if we are to create the conditions for peace, development, cooperation, and guarantee of rights for future generations.

In my recent Encyclical, Spe Salvi, I indicated that “every generation has the task of engaging anew in the arduous search for the right way to order human affairs” (no. 25). For Christians, this task is motivated by the hope drawn from the saving work of Jesus Christ. That is why the Church is happy to be associated with the activity of this distinguished Organization, charged with the responsibility of promoting peace and good will throughout the earth. Dear Friends, I thank you for this opportunity to address you today, and I promise you of the support of my prayers as you pursue your noble task.

Before I take my leave from this distinguished Assembly, I should like to offer my greetings, in the official languages, to all the Nations here represented.

Peace and Prosperity with God’s help!

Paix et prospérité, avec l’aide de Dieu!

Paz y prosperidad con la ayuda de Dios!

سَلامٌ وَإزْدِهَارٌ بعَوْن ِ الله ِ!

因著天主的幫助願大家 得享平安和繁榮 !

Мира и благоденствия с помощью Боҗией!

Thank you very much.

I think the pope and Obama have the same speechwriter.


--- Quote from: Gottmitunsalex on January 22, 2013, 03:20:17 AM ---I think the pope and Obama have the same speechwriter.

--- End quote ---
What makes you say that?

That's pretty bad, though it's not nearly as bad as Paul VI's address to the UN. Benedict has a subtlety to his speech that usually allows him to avoid raising too many alarms. What he promotes is just as evil and anti-Catholic, but he does it much more surreptitiously.

--- Quote ---As We begin Our address to this audience, which is unique in the world, We wish first to express our profound gratitude to U Thant, your Secretary General, for the invitation which he extended to Us to visit the United Nations, on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the foundation of this world institution for peace and for collaboration among the peoples of the entire earth.
Our thanks also go to Mr. Amintore Fanfani, President of the General Assembly, who has such kind words for Us on the day of his election.

We thank all of you here present for your kind welcome and We extend to each one of you Our cordial and deferential greetings. In friendship you have invited Us and admitted Us to this meeting; and it is as a friend that We appear before you.

In addition to Our personal greetings, We bring you those of the Second Ecumenical Council now meeting in Rome and represented here by the Eminent Cardinals who accompany Us.

In their name and in Our own, to each and every one of you, honour and greeting.

This encounter, as you well understand, is of a twofold nature: it is marked both with simplicity and with greatness. Simplicity, because you have before you a man like you, your brother, and indeed one of the smallest among you who represent sovereign States; for he is vested, if you wish to think of him as thus, with only a minuscule and, as it were, symbolic temporal sovereignty, only as much as is necessary to be free to exercise his spiritual mission and to assure those who deal with him that he is independent of every other sovereignty of this world. He has no temporal power, nor any ambition to compete with you. In fact, We have nothing to ask for, no question to raise. We have at most a desire to express and a permission to request: namely, that of serving you in so far as lies within Our competence, with disinterest, humility and love.

This is the first statement We have to give you. As you see, it is so simple that it may seem insignificant to this Assembly, which is accustomed to dealing with matters that are extremely important and difficult. However, We also said and all here today feel it that this moment is a singularly great one. It is a great moment for Us, a great one for you.

For Us. You know well who We are. Whatever may be the opinion you have of the Pontiff of Rome, you know Our mission. We are the bearer of a message for all mankind. And this We are, not only in Our own personal name and in the name of the great Catholic family, but also in the name of those Christian brethren who share the sentiments We express here, and particularly of those who kindly charged Us explicitly to be their spokesman here. Like a messenger who, after a long journey, finally succeeds in delivering the letter entrusted to him, We are conscious of living through a privileged moment, however brief, which fulfills a desire cherished in Our heart for nearly twenty centuries. For, you remember, We have been journeying long and We bring with Us a long history; We here celebrate the epilogue of a toilsome pilgrimage in search of a conversation with the entire world, from the day the command was given to Us: "Go and bring the good tidings to all peoples." And it is you who represent all peoples.

Let Us tell you that We have a message for all of you, a good message to deliver to each one of you.

Our message is meant to be, first of all, a moral and solemn ratification of this lofty institution. This message comes from Our historical experience. It is as an "expert in humanity" that We bring to this Organization the suffrage of Our recent Predecessors, that of the entire Catholic Episcopate, and Our own, convinced as We are that this Organization represents the obligatory path of modern civilization and of world peace.

In saying this, We feel We are speaking with the voice of the dead as well as of the living: of the dead who have fallen in the terrible wars of the past, dreaming of concord and world peace; of the living who have survived those wars, bearing in their hearts a condemnation of those who seek to renew them; and of those rightful expectation of a better humanity. And We also make Our own, the voice of the poor, the disinherited, the suffering; of those who long for justice for the dignity of life, for freedom, for well being and for progress. The peoples of the earth turn to the United Nations as the last hope of concord and peace. We presume to present here, together with Our own, their tribute to honour and of hope. That is why this moment is a great one for you also. We know that you are fully aware of this. Now for thecontinuation of Our message. It looks entirely towards the future. The edifice which you have constructed must never collapse; it must be continually perfected and adapted to the needs which the history of the world will present. You mark a stage in the development of mankind; from now on retreat is impossible; you must go forward.

To the pluralism of States, which can no longer ignore one another, you offer an extremely simple and fruitful form of coexistence. First of all, you recognize and distinguish the one and the other. You do not confer existence upon States, but you qualify each single nation as fit to sit in the orderly assembly of peoples: you grant recognition, of high ethical and juridical value, to each sovereign national community, guaranteeing it an honourable international citizenship. This in itself is a great service to the cause of humanity namely, to define clearly and to honour the national subjects of the world community, guarenteeing it an honourable international citizenship. This in itself is a great service to the cause of humanity namely, to define clearly and to honour the national subjects of the world community, and to establish for them a juridical status which entitles them to be recognized and respected by all and from which an ordered and stable system of international life may develop. You give sanction to the great principle that relations between peoples should be regulated by reason, by justice, by law, by negotiation; not by force nor by violence; not by war, not by fear, not by deceit. This is as it should be. And permit Us to congratulate you on having had the wisdom to open this Assembly to the young peoples, to the States which have recently attained independence and national freedom. Their presence here is the proof of the universality and magnanimity which inspire the principles of this institution. This is as it should be. Such is Our praise and Our wish, and, as you see, We do not attribute them as from outside your institution. We derive them from within it, from its very spirit.

Your Charter goes still further, and do does Our message. You are an association. You are a bridge between peoples. You are a network of relations among States. We would be tempted to say that your chief characteristic is a reflection, as it were, in the temporal field of what Our Catholic Church aspires to be in the spiritual field: unique and universal. Among the ideals by which mankind is guided, one can conceive of nothing greater on the natural level. Your vocation is to make brothers not only of some, but of all peoples. A difficult undertaking? Unquestionably; but this is the undertaking, your very noble undertaking. Who does not see the necessity of arriving thus progressively at the establishment of the a world authority, able to act effectively on the juridical and political levels? Here again We repeat Our wish: Go forward. We will say further: strive to bring back among you those who have left you, and study the means of bringing into your convent of brotherhood, in honour and with loyalty, those who do not yet participate in it. Act so that those still outside will desire and merit the confidence of all; and then be generous in granting such confidence. You who have the good fortune and the honour to sit in this Assembly of peaceful community, hear Us. Never let the reciprocal trust which here unites you and enables you to do good and great things be undermined or betrayed. The logic of this wish, which, it may be said, pertains to the structure of your Organization, prompts Us to complete it with other formulas. Thus, let no one, as a Member of your union, be superior to the others: Never one above other. This is the formula of equality. We are well aware that there are other factors to consider besides simple membership in your Organization. But equality, too, is a part of its constitution: not that you are equal, but here you make yourselves equal. For several among you, this may be an act of high virtue: allow Us to say this to you, as the representative of a religion which effects salvation through the humility of its divine Founder. Men cannot be brothers if they are not humble. It is pride, no matter how inevitable it may seem to be, which provokes tensions and struggles of prestige, of predominance, of colonialism, of selfishness; it is pride that disrupts brotherhood.

And now We come to the high point of Our message: Negatively, first: the words which you expect from Us and which We cannot pronounce without full awareness of their gravity and solemnity: Never one against the other, never, never again. Was it not principally for this purpose that the United Nations came into being: against war and for peace? Listen to the clear words of a great man, the late John Kennedy, who declared four years ago: "Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind." Long discourses are not necessary to proclaim the supreme goal of your institution. It is enough to remember that the blood of millions of men, numberless and unprecedented sufferings, useless slaughter and frightful ruin are the sanction of the covenant which unites you, in a solemn pledge which must change the future history of the world: No more war, war never again. It is peace, peace which must guide the destinies of peoples and of all mankind. Our thanks to you, glory to you, who for twenty years have labored for peace and who have even suffered the loss of illustrious men in this sacred cause. Thanks and glory to you for the conflicts which you have prevented and for those which you have brought to an end. The results of your efforts on behalf of peace, including the most recent, even if they are not yet decisive, are such as to deserve that We, presuming to interpret the sentiments of the whole world, express to you both praise and gratitude.

Gentlemen, you have performed and you continue to perform a great work: the education of mankind in the ways of peace. The United Nations is the great school where that education is imparted, and We are today in the Assembly Hall of that school. Everyone taking his place here becomes a pupil and also a teacher in the art of building peace. When you leave this hall, the world looks upon you as the architects and the builders of peace. Peace, as you know, is not built solely by means of politics and the balance of forces and of interests. It is constructed with the mind, with ideas, with works of peace. You labor in this great construction. But you are still at the beginning of your labors. Will the world ever succeed in changing that selfish and bellicose mentality which, up to now, has woven so much of its history: It is hard to foresee, but it is easy to affirm that it is toward that new history, a peaceful, a truly and fully human history, as promised by God to men of goodwill, that we must resolutely set out. The roads lie well marked before you; the first one is that of disarmament.

If you wish to be brothers, let the weapons fall from your hands. One cannot love with offensive weapons in his hands. Those weapons, especially the terrible weapons that modern science has given you, long before they produce victims and ruins, cause bad dreams, foster bad feelings, create nightmares, distrust and somber resolves; they demand enormous expenditures; they obstruct projects of solidarity and useful work; they falsify the very psychology of peoples. As long as man remains that weak, changeable and even wicked being that he often shows himself to be, defensive arms will, unfortunately, be necessary. As for you, however, your courage and your work impel you to study ways of guaranteeing the security of international life without recourse to arms. This is an aim worthy of your efforts; this is what the peoples of the world expect of you; this is what you must achieve. And for this, unanimous confidence in this institution must increase, its authority must increase; and this goal, one may hope, will be attained. You will win the gratitude of all peoples, relieved as they will then be from the crushing expense of armaments and freed from the nightmare of an ever imminent war. We know and how could We fail to rejoice that many of you have looked with favour upon the invitation that, in the cause of peace, We addressed from Bombay last December to all States: to devote to the benefit of the developing countries at least a part of the savings which could be realized through the reduction of armaments. We here renew that invitation, trusting in your sentiments of humanity and generosity. In speaking of humanity and generosity, We are echoing another fundamental principle of the United Nations, which is its very summit, namely, that you work here not only to avert conflicts between States, but also to make States capable of working for each other. You are not content with facilitating mere coexistence between nations; you take a much greater step forward, one deserving of Our praise and Our support: you organize brotherly cooperation among peoples. In this way a system of solidarity is established, so that lofty civilized aims may win the orderly and unanimous support of all the family of peoples for the common good and for the good of each individual. This is the finest aspect of the United Nations; it is its most truly human aspect; it is the ideal that mankind dreams of on its pilgrimage through time; it is the world's greatest hope; it is, We presume to say, the reflection of the loving and transcendent design of God for the progress of the human family on earth a reflection in which We see the heavenly message of the Gospel. Here indeed We seem to hear the echo of the voice of Our Predecessors, and particularly of Pope John XXIII, whose message of "Pacem in Terris" received so honourable and significant a response among you. You proclaim here the fundamental rights and duties of man, his dignity, his freedom and above all his religious freedom. We feel that you thus interpret the highest sphere of human wisdom and, We would almost say, its sacred character. For you deal here above all with human life, and human life is sacred; no one may dare make an attempt upon it. Respect for life, even with regard to the great problem of the birth rate, must find here in your Assembly its highest affirmation and its most rational defence. Your task is to ensure that there is enough bread on the tables of mankind, and not to encourage an artificial control of births, which would be irrational, in order to diminish the number of guests at the banquet of life. It is not enough, however, to feed the hungry; it is necessary also to assure to each man a life that befits his dignity. This, too, you strive to achieve. Is this not the fulfillment before Our very eyes, and through your efforts, of that prophetic utterances applicable to your Institution: "They shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruninghooks" (Is. 2:4). Are you not using the prodigious energies of the earth and the magnificent inventions of science, no longer as instruments of death, but as tools of life for the new era of humanity? We know with what increasing intensity and effectiveness the United Nations and its related world agencies are working to assist Governments which need help to hasten their economic and social progress. We know how ardently you labor to overcome illiteracy and to promote culture throughout the world; to give men adequate and modern medical assistance; to employ in man's service the marvelous resources of science, technology and organization. All this is magnificent and merits everyone's praise and support, including Our own. We, too, would set an example, even though the smallness of Our means may hinder an awareness of its practical implication: We intend to give Our charitable institutions a new development in order to combat the hunger of the world and to meet its principle needs. It is thus, and in no other way, that peace can be built. One more word, Gentlemen, one last word: this edifice which you are constructing does not rest upon merely material and earthly foundations, for if so, it would be a house built upon sand; it rests above all on our own consciences. The hour has indeed struck for "conversion," for personal transformation, for interior renewal. We must get used to thinking of man in a new way; and of men's life in common in a new way; in a new way, too, of the paths of history and the destiny of the world, in accordance with the words of Saint Paul, to "put on the new man, which has been created according to God in justice and holiness of truth" (Eph. 4:23).

The hour has come for a halt, a moment of contemplation, of reflection, almost of prayer; a moment to think anew of our common origin, our history, our common destiny. Today, as never before, in an era marked by such human progress, there is need for an appeal to the moral conscience of man. For the danger comes, not from progress, nor from science on the contrary if properly utilized, these could resolve many of the grave problems which beset mankind. The real danger comes from man himself, who has at his disposal ever more powerful instruments, which can be used as well for destruction as for the loftiest conquests. In a word, then, the edifice of modern civilization must be built upon spiritual principles; the only principles capable not only of supporting it but also of enlightening and animating it. And these indispensable principles of superior wisdom must be founded this, as you know, is Our belief upon faith in God. That unknown God of whom Saint Paul spoke to the Athenians on the Areopagus? Unknown to them, although without realizing it, they sought Him and He was close to them, as happens to so many men of our times? For Us, in any case, and for all those who accept the ineffable revelation which Christ has given us of Him, He is the living God, the Father of all men.
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This text is absolutely dripping with heretical implications.

The UN is the last hope for world peace? The Church only aspires to be universal? All war must be abolished?



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