PACEM IN TERRIS: Peace in “Pacem in Terris” and Vatican II


faheyby Joseph Fahey
Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace

Although Blessed Pope John XXIII wrote Pacem in Terris as an urgent response to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, in fact his vision for peace began when he served in the Italian Army in WWI. WWII also had a great impact on Pope John and he began to formulate what would become a Magna Carta for peace as early as 1948. Pope John’s formula for peace began a revolution in Catholic thought because he based peace on the rights of persons rather than on state power. This led to the formula repeated so much in the past 50 years, that “peace is founded on the works of justice.”

In Pacem in Terris Pope John observed three “signs of the times” that bode well for the future of peace: 1. The Rights of Workers: “workers all over the world refuse to…

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