Monday, July 03, 2006

Gaudium et Spes 83

Gaudium et Spes begins a second section in its examination of war and peace entitled: Setting Up An International Community. First comes the acknowledgement of human sin:

In order to build up peace above all the causes of discord among (peoples), especially injustice, which foment wars must be rooted out. Not a few of these causes come from excessive economic inequalities and from putting off the steps needed to remedy them. Other causes of discord, however, have their source in the desire to dominate and in a contempt for persons. And, if we look for deeper causes, we find them in human envy, distrust, pride, and other egotistical passions. (Humankind) cannot bear so many ruptures in the harmony of things. Consequently, the world is constantly beset by strife and violence between (people), even when no war is being waged. Besides, since these same evils are present in the relations between various nations as well, in order to overcome or forestall them and to keep violence once unleashed within limits it is absolutely necessary for countries to cooperate more advantageously and more closely together and to organize together international bodies and to work tirelessly for the creation of organizations which will foster peace.

International cooperation is not a cure for human sinfulness, but it can alleviate the damage and help set the tone for justice. This section hints at what we see today: an outbreak of violence within nations, a repetition of the injustices delivered upon European Jews, native Americans, and other sorry stories of "egotistical passions."


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