People toss the phrase “justice and peace” around.
Biretta tip to Phil Lawler of Catholic World News for a great catch. He noted something interesting about “justice and peace” in a speech Pope Benedict XVI gave to members of the Italian police force (which I was unlikely to rush to read without Mr. Lawler’s alert).
Mr. Lawler has a breakdown and comments, but here is an excerpt:
The Pope made what might have seemed at first to be a routine remark, encouraging the police officers to work for justice and peace. But he added some depth to that message with a short but pointed commentary on what “justice” and “peace” really mean:
Justice is not a mere human convention. When, in the name of supposed justice, the criteria of utility, profit, and material possession come to dominate, the value and dignity of human beings can be trampled underfoot. Justice is a virtue which guides the human will, prompting us to give others what is due to them by reason of their existence and their actions. Likewise, peace is not the mere absence of war, or the result of man’s actions to avoid conflict; it is, above all, a gift of God which must be implored with faith, and which has the way to its fulfillment in Jesus. True peace must be constructed day after day with compassion, solidarity, fraternity, and collaboration on everyone’s part.
If people want a fuller explication by Benedict of Justice and Peace, read what I think is one of the best documents of his pontificate, his 2006 Message for World Day for Peace.
By the way, Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity.