At the time of its publication, Pope John XXIII described his encyclical as an “open letter to the world” in which he made the case for the “tranquility of order” as the foundation for global peace.
“The world will
never be the dwelling-place of peace,” he wrote,
“till peace has found a home in the
heart of each and every human person, till all preserve
within themselves the order ordained by God to be
Pope Benedict XVI described “Pacem in Terris” in his recent message to the academy as “a heartfelt appeal from a great pastor, nearing the end of his life, for the cause of peace and justice to be vigorously promoted at every level of society, nationally and internationally.”
Peace and justice, he said, are the “fruits” of this right order that is “written on the human heart” and therefore “accessible to all people of good will,” regardless of their religion.
A similar sentiment, he noted, was issued by Pope John Paul II in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, when he insisted that there can be “no peace without justice, no justice without forgiveness.”
Pope Benedict took heart from the fact that since 1963 “some of the conflicts that seemed insoluble at the time have passed into history.” He finished his message by commending the work of the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences to “Our Lady, Queen of Peace.”