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Weapons disarmament preceded by disarmament of hearts, says Cardinal Martino
Cardinal Renato Martino
Cardinal Renato Martino

.- Cardinal Renato Martino, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said this past week that, “To work for disarmament means to promote a preventative culture of peace, capable of preventing at the roots the causes that can degenerate human coexistence into the scandal of war.”

The cardinal made his comments during the inauguration of the International Seminar on “Disarmament, Development and Peace: Perspectives for Comprehensive Disarmament,” which took place last week in Rome.  During his remarks, the cardinal said every person “is a potential architect of disarmament if he has the courage to disarm his own heart.”

All people, he continued, are called to “be operators of peace, in their own lives and later in the world.”  This culture of peace “should be acquired first of all by the leaders of national and international institutions called to sharpen dialogue, mutual trust and diplomatic efforts to peacefully prevent and resolve controversies.”

Cardinal Martino later recalled the important role played by the great religions, “which are called to converge in the defense of the value of human life and dignity and to promote a true and appropriate pedagogy of peace.”

According to the “principle of sufficiency,” Cardinal Martino pointed out, states have the “right to armament necessary strictly for legitimate defense.”  However, he warned, “any excessive accumulation of arms or their generalized sale cannot be justified, neither legally and much less so morally.”

Recalling Pope Paul VI, the cardinal noted that “development is the new name of peace.”  This development, he said, cannot only be material; it must also be above all cultural, moral and spiritual, in order to open up for humanity a way to “authentic and lasting peace.”

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