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Cardinal Turkson Addresses Peace Building Conference
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Recognizing the inherent dignity of each person is the greatest weapon anyone has against war and violence, Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, told a conference marking the 50th anniversary of Blessed John XXIII's encyclical "Pacem in Terris" ("Peace on Earth").

Peace is intimately connected to working for justice, otherwise violence will be difficult to overcome, Cardinal Turkson said in an address April 10 at The Catholic University of America to about 150 participants in the conference sponsored by the Catholic Peace building Network.

"Peace then is not merely the absence of war and conflict, but it represents ... a gift from God," the cardinal said.

"Peace is an attribute of God himself. God is peace. Creation aspires to peace," he added.

In an interview with Catholic News Service following his address, Cardinal Turkson said "Pacem in Terris" remains as important for the world today as it was when it first appeared.

"If any factor in society in any way treads on or diminishes or makes it difficult for people to realize their dignity, the common good the human flourishing, human development that for us is a crisis moment. If we can do anything to promote the development of human society that's what we stand for," he said.

The two-day conference examined various aspects of the encyclical, which was promulgated April 11, 1963, by Blessed John months after the Cuban missile crisis brought the world to the brink of nuclear war between the United States and the former Soviet Union. Speakers looked at how the encyclical remains among the most significant components of Catholic social thought.

Source: Catholicnews.com

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