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Tuesday, December 15, 2009


VATICAN CITY, 15 DEC 2009 (VIS) - Today in the Holy See Press Office Cardinal Renato Martino, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and Bishop Mario Toso S.D.B., secretary of the same dicastery, presented the Pope's Message for the forty-third World Day of Peace, which is due to be celebrated on 1 January 2010. The Message has as its theme: "If You Want To Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation".

  In his remarks the cardinal recalled how, in previous Messages, Benedict XVI had spoken of peace as "a gift of God in Truth" (2006), as "the fruit of respect for the human person" (2007), as "an expression of the communion of the human family" and as "a call to eliminate all forms of poverty, material and immaterial" (2009). Thus, he went on, "following this ideal 'itinerary of peace', the Pope comes to the context in which humanity receives its vocation to peace: the creation".

  In his Message this year the Pope presents "a cosmic vision of peace" a peace which "comes about in a state of harmony between God, humankind and the creation. In this perspective, environmental degradation is an expression not only of a break in the harmony between humankind and the creation, but of a profound deterioration in the unity between humankind and God", said the cardinal.

  The Holy Father highlights the "urgent need for action", although he "does not propose technical solutions and does not seek to interfere in the policy of governments. Rather, he recalls the Church's commitment to defending the earth" and enumerates a series of "perspectives for the shared progress of humankind". This series includes "a non-reductive vision of the nature of human beings", a call to collective responsibility, and "a profound revision of development models".

  Cardinal Martino also explained how the text of the papal Message calls for a coherent approach to "the universal destination of the goods of creation" and underlines "the need for renewed solidarity, extended over space and time, between generations" and "between developed and developing countries, while at the same time avoiding partial viewpoints that tend to exaggerate certain responsibilities more than others". Finally, the cardinal noted, the Pope calls "for a balanced use of energy resources".

  Benedict XVI concludes his message with an "expression of hope in the intelligence and dignity of man" tracing "a path of profound harmony, both interior and exterior, between the Creator, humankind and the creation", said Cardinal Martino.

  In conclusion, the president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace noted the Pope's deliberate decision to dedicate his Message this year to the theme of ecology, as it coincides with the thirtieth anniversary of the proclamation of St. Francis of Assisi, author of the 'Laudes Creaturarum', as patron saint of the environment. "Love for the creation, if projected onto a spiritual horizon, can lead mankind to brotherhood with his fellows and to union with God", he said.
OP/MESSAGE PEACE/MARTINO                    VIS 20091215 (500)

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