VATICAN CITY, MAR 8, 2005 (VIS) - Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, spoke in Luanda on March 5 at the end of the Second 'Pro Pace' Congress which was held March 2 to 6 in the Angolan capital on the theme "Builders of Democracy." The congress, which was organized by the Church in Angola and took place at Luanda's Catholic University, concluded with a Eucharistic concelebration, presided over by the cardinal.
In his speech, published yesterday afternoon, Cardinal Martino made reference to long-established democracies and to those just emerging from "aggressive systems, tribal domination, and colonial rule." He said that the latter must be careful not to fall prey to the type of "moral and institutional crisis that historical democracies are going through," including "absolute individualism, materialism, hedonism, ethical indifference and the prevalence of acquisitive and competitive economic logic."
He said that "ethical relativism is one of the greatest risks for current democracies" because it denies "objective and universal criteria for establishing the basis for and correct hierarchy of values." The council president affirmed the indispensable relationship between moral values and political life in building true democracy.
CON-IP/DEMOCRACY:VALUES/ANGOLA:MARTINO VIS 20050308 (200)