Pope John Paul II: The need for a new international order

From the pontiff's New Year homily, delivered at St Peter's basilica, Rome
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The Independent Online

Since peace is possible, it is also right and proper. Confronted by situations of injustice and violence that burden various parts of the world, it has become ever more necessary to construct together ways for peace; it has become indispensable to educate people towards peace.

It is for the Christian to proclaim peace and declare that Christ is our peace; and to declare his Evangelist who is the Evangelist of peace; and to call all to the bliss of being authors of peace.

Every year, at this Christmas season, we turn to Bethlehem to worship the baby cradled in the manger. The land in which Jesus was born continues sadly to live in dramatic conditions.

In other parts of the world, too, the infections of violence and conflict refuse to die down. But it is necessary to persevere without yielding to the temptations of giving up. An effort is demanded from all of us. To that end, it is necessary to transcend the logic of simple justice and become open to that of forgiveness. Indeed, without forgiveness there is no peace!

One feels more than ever the need for a new international order, that brings to fruition the experience and the results achieved in these years by the United Nations.

This is an order that is capable of giving adequate solutions to the problems of today, founded on the dignity of the human person, on an integral development of society, on solidarity between rich countries and poor ones, on the sharing of resources and the extraordinary results of scientific and technical progress.

Love is the highest and most noble form of relationship between human beings. This conviction has guided me in sending out a message on this World Day of Peace.

God helps us to construct all together the "civilisation of love". Only a humanity in which love conquers will be capable of enjoying an authentic and lasting peace.

This gift we obtain from Mary. It is she who sustains and accompanies us on the hard and exalted journey to the building of peace.

For this we pray with faith, without stinting: Mary, queen of peace, pray for us!