Populorum Progressio 76-77: Development, the New Name for Peace

Pope Paul VI on Development, the New Name for Peace:

76. Extreme disparity between nations in economic, social and educational levels provokes jealousy and discord, often putting peace in jeopardy.

Disparity by itself isn’t usually enough to warrant resentment. Too often the chasm is maintained and widened by injustice.

As We told the Council Fathers on Our return from the United Nations: “We have to devote our attention to the situation of those nations still striving to advance. What We mean, to put it in clearer words, is that our charity toward the poor, of whom there are countless numbers in the world, has to become more solicitous, more effective, more generous.”

When we fight poverty and oppose the unfair conditions of the present, we are not just promoting human well-being; we are also furthering (human) spiritual and moral development, and hence we are benefiting the whole human race. For peace is not simply the absence of warfare, based on a precarious balance of power; it is fashioned by efforts directed day after day toward the establishment of the ordered universe willed by God, with a more perfect form of justice among men. (Cf. Pacem in Terris: AAS 55 (1963), 301.)

Hence the popular bumper sticker motto: if you want peace, work for justice. It’s not an empty expression.

Banding together, not splintering off into smaller and smaller groups:

77. Nations are the architects of their own development, and they must bear the burden of this work; but they cannot accomplish it if they live in isolation from others. Regional mutual aid agreements among the poorer nations, broader based programs of support for these nations, major alliances between nations to coordinate these activities—these are the road signs that point the way to national development and world peace.

This encyclical letter is © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana, and can be found in its entirety at this link.

The image is of Lady Justice at the Central Criminal Court of London.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Populorum Progressio, social justice. Bookmark the permalink.

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