An Ever Timely Commitment: Teaching Peace

( [email protected] ) Dec 18, 2003 10:22 AM EST

Vatican - Pope John Paul II says in his message for the forthcoming World Day of Peace, Jan 1, that the fight against terrorism should not be limited to repressive operations but must include an analysis of the motives behind attacks.

“The scourge of terrorism has become more virulent in recent years and has produced brutal massacres which have in urn put even greater obstacles in the way of dialogue and negotiation, increasing tensions and aggravating problems, especially in the Middle East.” The Pope says.

However, “if it is to be won, the fight against terrorism cannot be limited solely to repressive and punitive operations.”

“The fight against terrorism must be conducted also on the political and educational levels: on the one hand, by eliminating the underlying causes of situations of injustice which frequently drive people to more desperate and violent acts; and on the other hand, by insisting on an education inspired by respect for life in every situation.”

“Today international law is hard-pressed to provide solutions to situations of conflict arising from the changed landscape of the contemporary world,” therefore, in “the necessary fight against terrorism, international law is now called to develop legal instruments provided with effective means for the prevention, monitoring and suppression of crime,” he emphasizes.

“In any event, democratic governments know well that the use of force against terrorists cannot justify a renunciation of the principles of the rule of law. Political decisions would be unacceptable were they to seek success without consideration for fundamental human rights, since the end never justifies the means.”

This message is entitled “An Ever Timely Commitment: Teaching Peace, and is published by the Vatican press office on Dec 16th, 2003.