Pope to speak on 'crisis of democracy'

Pope Benedict XVI will use his annual message for the 46th World Day of Peace this Jan. 1 to examine the "worrying crisis of democracy," the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace said July 16.

The pontiff will examine "fundamental rights" including freedom of conscience, expression and religion. He will also reflect upon the measures taken to contain contemporary financial and economic crises and "the crisis of the institutions and politics."

The pontifical council said that this institutional crisis is in many cases a "crisis of democracy."

The Pope has chosen the day's theme as "Blessed are the peacemakers." His message will encourage everyone to "take responsibility" for building peace, and will examine "the fullness and diversity of the concept of peace," including "inner peace."

The message will mark the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and Pope John XXIII's 1963 encyclical "Pacem in Terris."

That encyclical looked at how to build an earthly city that will serve every person, a city that is directed to the common good based on justice and peace.

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