News archive 2004

Pope’s Message for World Day of Peace Saturday 1st January 2005 “Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good”

PRESS RELEASE

16TH DECEMBER 2004

POPE’S MESSAGE FOR WORLD DAY OF PEACE

SATURDAY 1ST JANUARY 2005

“DO NOT BE OVERCOME BY EVIL BUT OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD”

This morning in the Holy See Press Office the Pope’s Message for the
38th World Day of Peace, which will be celebrated on Saturday January
1st,2005, was presented.

The theme of the Pope’s Message is: “Do not be overcome by evil but
overcome evil with good”.

In his message the Pope says, “At the beginning of the New Year, I once
again address the leaders of nations and all men and women of good will,
who recognize the need to build peace in the world. For the theme of
this 2005 World Day of Peace I have chosen Saint Paul’s words in the
Letter to the Romans: ‘‘Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil
with good” (12:21). Evil is never defeated by evil; once that road is
taken, rather than defeating evil, one will instead be defeated by evil.
the great Apostle brings out a fundamental truth: peace is the outcome
of a long and demanding battle which is only won when evil is defeated
by good. If we consider the tragic scenario of violent fratricidal
conflicts in different parts of the world, and the untold sufferings
and injustices to which they have given rise, the only truly constructive
choice is, as Saint Paul proposes, to flee what is evil and hold fast
to what is good (cf. Rom 12:9).”

The Pope goes on to say, “If we look to the present state of the world,
we cannot help but note the disturbing spread of various social and
political manifestations of evil: from social disorders to anarchy
and war, from injustice to acts of violence and killing. To steer a
path between the conflicting claims of good and evil, the human family
urgently needs to preserve and esteem that common patrimony of moral
values bestowed by God himself. For this reason, Saint Paul encourages
all those determined to overcome evil with good to be noble and
disinterested in fostering generosity and peace (cf. Rom 12:17-21).
Ten years ago, in addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations
about the need for common commitment to the service of peace, I made
reference to the ‘‘grammar” of the universal moral law,2 to which
the Church appeals in her various pronouncements in this area. By
inspiring common values and principles, this law unites human beings,
despite their different cultures, and is itself unchanging: ‘‘it
subsists under the flux of ideas and customs and supports their progress…
Even when it is rejected in its very principles, it cannot be destroyed
or removed from the heart of man. It always rises again in the life
of individuals and societies”.3 “

Click here for the full text of the Pope’s Message .

Further information:
Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Brenda Drumm Communications Officer (087 233 7797)

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