The Harvest of Justice is Sown in Peace

Year Published
  • 2017
  • English
A Reflection of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops
 on the Tenth Anniversary of The Challenge of Peace November 17, 1993

In commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the bishops' pastoral letter, The Challenge of Peace: God's Promise and Our Response, and the thirtieth anniversary of Pope John XXIII's encyclical letter, Pacem in Terris, an ad hoc subcommittee of the Committee on International Policy drafted and approved a statement on peacemaking in a post-Cold War world. This statement, The Harvest of Justice Is Sown in Peace, was approved by the NCCB Administrative Board in September 1993, was submitted to and approved by the full body of bishops on November 17, 1993 and is authorized for publication as a reflection of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops by the undersigned.

Monsignor Robert N. Lynch
General Secretary


The harvest of justice is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace. James 3:18

Introduction: The Call to Peacemaking in a New World

A decade ago, with our pastoral letter The Challenge of Peace: God's Promise and Our Response, our conference of bishops sought to offer a word of hope in a time of fear, a call to peacemaking in the midst of "cold war," a No to a nuclear arms race that threatened the human family.

The response to The Challenge of Peace was far greater than any of us could have anticipated. While not everyone received this letter with the same enthusiasm and some criticisms were heard from various parts of the Church and of society, the pastoral letter strengthened our Church, engaged our people and contributed to a renewed focus on the moral dimension of nuclear arms and broader issues of war and peace. Among us bishops, the pastoral helped unite our efforts to preach the Gospel message of justice and peace. The process of writing the pastoral was also an example of how church teaching can be enhanced by consultation and discussion. The letter led to spirited debate and constructive dialogue in our dioceses and parishes and has been widely used in schools, colleges and universities, the armed forces and research institutes.

Now, ten years after The Challenge of Peace, we renew our call to peacemaking in a dramatically different world. The "challenge of peace" today is different, but no less urgent. Although the nuclear threat is not as imminent, international injustice, bloody regional wars and a lethal conventional arms trade are continuing signs that the world is still marked by pervasive violence and conflict.

In these anniversary reflections we seek

  • to build on the foundations of our 1983 pastoral,

  • to reflect on its continuing lessons and unfinished agenda,

  • to explore the new challenges of peacemaking and solidarity and

  • to call the community of faith to the continuing task of peacemaking in this new situation.

Thus, we do not offer a new pastoral letter that revisits the choices of the past, but a reflection on the challenges of the present and future, especially what peacemaking and solidarity require of believers and citizens today.

Some major tasks identified ten years ago need to be addressed, including a comprehensive test-ban treaty, effective action to halt nuclear proliferation and greater progress toward nuclear disarmament. In 1993, however, the challenges of peace also involve renewing and reshaping our national commitment to the world community, building effective institutions of peace and alleviating the injustice and oppression which contribute to conflict.

As with the peace pastoral, in these reflections we restate universally binding moral and religious principles. We also seek conscientiously to apply these principles to what, in our judgment, are crucial issues facing our nation and world. Given the nature of these issues, many people who share our values may and will disagree with our specific applications and judgments. We hope that our effort to apply our principles to specific problems will contribute to the public debate on the moral dimensions of U.S. foreign policy and will support the many people in our country who are working to build a more peaceful world.

Among the major challenges peacemakers face in this new era are:

The Human Toll of Violence. At home and abroad, we see the terrible human and moral costs of violence. In regional wars, in crime and terrorism, in ecological devastation and economic injustice, in abortion and renewed dependence on capital punishment, we see the tragic consequences of a growing lack of respect for human life. We cannot really be peacemakers around the world unless we seek to protect the lives and dignity of the vulnerable in our midst. We must stand up for human life wherever it is threatened. This is the essence of our consistent life ethic and the starting point for genuine peacemaking.

The Illusion and Moral Danger of Isolationism. After the Cold War, there has emerged an understandable but dangerous temptation to turn inward, to focus only on domestic needs and to ignore global responsibilities. This is not an option for believers in a universal church or for citizens in a powerful nation. In a world where 40,000 children die every day from hunger and its consequences; where ethnic cleansing and systematic rape are used as weapons of war; and where people are still denied life, dignity and fundamental rights, we cannot remain silent or indifferent. Nor can we simply turn to military force to solve the world's problems or to right every wrong.

This new era calls for engaged and creative U.S. leadership in foreign affairs that can resist the dangers of both isolationism and unwise intervention. We seek a U.S. foreign policy which reflects our best traditions and which seeks effective collaboration with the community of nations to resist violence and achieve justice in peace.

Structures of Solidarity. Wherever freedom, opportunity, truth and hope are denied, the seeds of conflict will grow. Our country, in this ever shrinking world, should reformulate its policies and programs to address the still widening gap between the rich and the desperately poor. Generous and targeted assistance, sustainable development, economic empowerment of the poor and support for human rights and democracy are essential works of peace. We cannot abandon our programs of foreign aid; rather, we must reshape them, shifting from a focus on security assistance to a priority of development aid for the poor. "[A] leadership role among nations," Pope John Paul II tells us, "can only be justified by the possibility and willingness to contribute widely and generously to the common good." 1

Peacemaking Institutions. The world must find the will and the ways to pursue justice, contain conflict and replace violence and war with peaceful and effective means to address injustices and resolve disputes. Through the United Nations and regional organizations, our nation must be positively engaged in devising new tools for preserving the peace, finding ways to prevent and police conflicts, to protect basic rights, to promote integral human development and to preserve the environment.

The Vocation of Peacemaking. Part of the legacy of The Challenge of Peace is the call to strengthen peacemaking as an essential dimension of our faith, reminding us that Jesus called us to be peacemakers. Our biblical heritage and our body of tradition make the vocation of peacemaking mandatory. Authentic prayer, worship and sacramental life challenge us to conversion of our hearts and summon us to works of peace. These concerns are obviously not ours alone, but are the work of the entire community of faith and of all people of good will. A decade ago, our letter sought to be a catalyst and resource for the larger national debate on the moral dimensions of war and peace. Today, we hope these reflections may serve as a call to consider the challenges of peacemaking and solidarity in a very different, but still dangerous world.

I. Theology, Spirituality and Ethics for Peacemaking

An often neglected aspect of The Challenge of Peace is the spirituality and ethics of peacemaking. At the heart of our faith lies "the God of peace" (Rom 15:33), who desires peace for all people far and near (Ps 85; Is 57:19). That desire has been fulfilled in Christ in whom humanity has been redeemed and reconciled. In our day, the Holy Spirit continues to call us to seek peace with one another, so that in our peacemaking we may prepare for the coming of the reign of God, a kingdom of true justice, love and peace. God created the human family as one and calls it to unity. The renewed unity we experience in Christ is to be lived out in every possible way. We are to do all we can to live at peace with everyone (Rom 12:18). Given the effects of sin, our efforts to live in peace with one another depend on our openness to God's healing grace and the unifying power of Christ's redemption. Change of mind and heart, of word and action are essential to those who would work for peace (Rom 12:2). This conversion to the God of peace has two dimensions. On the one hand, in imitation of Christ we must be humble, gentle and patient. On the other, we are called to be strong and active in our peacemaking, loving our enemies and doing good generously as God does (Lk 6:35-36, 38), filled with eagerness to spread the gospel of peace (Eph 6:15). Likewise, discovering God's peace, which exceeds all understanding, in prayer is essential to peacemaking (Phil 4:7). The peace given in prayer draws us into God, quieting our anxieties, challenging our old values and deepening wells of new energy. It arouses in us a compassionate love for all humanity and gives us heart to persevere beyond frustration, suffering and defeat. We should never forget that peace is not merely something that we ourselves as creatures do and can accomplish, but it is, in the ultimate analysis, a gift and a grace from God. By its nature, the gift of peace is not restricted to moments of prayer. It seeks to penetrate the corners of everyday life and to transform the world. But, to do so, it needs to be complemented in other ways. It requires other peaceable virtues, a practical vision of a peaceful world and an ethics to guide peacemakers in times of conflict.

A. Virtues and a Vision for Peacemakers

  1. Peaceable Virtues
    True peacemaking can be a matter of policy only if it is first a matter of the heart. In the absence of repentance and forgiveness, no peace can endure; without a spirit of courageous charity, justice cannot be won. We can take inspiration from the early Christian communities. Paul called on the Corinthians, even in the most trying circumstances, to pursue peace and bless their persecutors, never repaying evil for evil, but overcoming evil with good (Rom 12:14, 17, 21). Amid the violence of contemporary culture and in response to the growing contempt for human life, the Church must seek to foster communities where peaceable virtues can take root and be nourished. We need to nurture among ourselves faith and hope to strengthen our spirits by placing our trust in God, rather than in ourselves; courage and compassion that move us to action; humility and kindness so that we can put the needs and interests of others ahead of our own; patience and perseverance to endure the long struggle for justice; and civility and charity so that we can treat others with respect and love. "The goal of peace, so desired by everyone," as Pope John Paul has written, "will certainly be achieved through the putting into effect of social and international justice, but also through the practice of the virtues which favor togetherness and which teach us to live in unity." 2

  2. A Vision of Peace
    A practical complement to the virtues of peacemaking is a clear vision of a peaceful world. Thirty years ago Pope John XXIII laid out before us a visionary framework for peace in his encyclical letter Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth), which retains its freshness today. Pacem in Terris proposed a political order in service of the common good, defined in terms of the defense and promotion of human rights. In a prophetic insight, anticipating the globalization of our problems, Pope John called for new forms of political authority adequate to satisfy the needs of the universal common good. Peace does not consist merely in the absence of war, but rather in sharing the goodness of life together. In keeping with Pope John's teaching, the Church's positive vision of a peaceful world includes:

    1. the primacy of the global common good for political life,

    2. the role of social and economic development in securing the conditions for a just and lasting peace, and

    3. the moral imperative of solidarity between affluent, industrial nations and poor, developing ones.

    1. The Universal Common Good
      A key element in Pope John's conception of a peaceful world is a global order oriented to the full development of all peoples, with governments committed to the rights of citizens, and a framework of authority which enables the world community to address fundamental problems that individual governments fail to resolve. In this framework, sovereignty is in the service of people. All political authority has as its end the promotion of the common good, particularly the defense of human rights. When a government clearly fails in this task or itself becomes a central impediment to the realization of those rights, the world community has a right and a duty to act where the lives and the fundamental rights of large numbers of people are at serious risk.

    2. The Responsibility for Development
      A second element consists of the right to and the duty of development for all peoples. In the words of Pope John Paul II, "[J]ust as there is a collective responsibility for avoiding war, so too there is a collective responsibility for promoting development." Development, the Holy Father reasoned, will contribute to a more just world in which the occasions for resorting to arms will be greatly reduced:

      [It] must not be forgotten that at the root of war there are usually real and serious grievances: injustices suffered, legitimate aspirations frustrated, poverty and the exploitation of multitudes of desperate people who see no real possibility of improving their lot by peaceful means. 3

      Development not only serves the interest of justice, but also contributes greatly to a lasting peace.

    3. Human Solidarity
      A third imperative is to further the unity of the human family. Solidarity requires that we think and act in terms of our obligations as members of a global community, despite differences of race, religion or nationality. We are responsible for actively promoting the dignity of the world's poor through global economic reform, development assistance and institutions designed to meet the needs of the hungry, refugees and the victims of war. Solidarity, Pope John Paul II reminds us, contributes to peace by providing "a firm and persevering determination" to seek the good of all. "Peace," he declares, will be "the fruit of solidarity." 4

B. Two Traditions: Nonviolence and Just War

An essential component of a spirituality for peacemaking is an ethic for dealing with conflict in a sinful world. The Christian tradition possesses two ways to address conflict: nonviolence and just war. They both share the common goal: to diminish violence in this world. For as we wrote in The Challenge of Peace, "The Christian has no choice but to defend peace . . . . This is an inalienable obligation. It is the how of defending peace which offers moral options." 5 We take up this dual tradition again, recognizing, on the one hand, the success of nonviolent methods in recent history, and, on the other, the increasing disorder of the post-Cold War world with its pressures for limited military engagement and humanitarian intervention. Throughout history there has been a shifting relation between the two streams of the tradition which always remain in tension. Like Christians before us who have sought to read the signs of the times in light of this dual tradition, we today struggle to assess the lessons of the nonviolent revolutions in Eastern Europe in 1989 and the former Soviet Union in 1991, on the one hand, and of the conflicts in Central America, the Persian Gulf, Bosnia, Somalia, Lebanon, Cambodia and Northern Ireland on the other. The devastation wrought by these recent wars reinforces and strengthens for us the strong presumption against the use of force, which is shared by both traditions. Overall, the wars fought in the last fifty years show a dramatic rise in the proportion of noncombatant casualties. This fact points to the need for clear moral restraints both in avoiding war and in limiting its consequences. The high level of civilian deaths raises serious moral questions about the political choices and military doctrines which have had such tragic results over the last half century. The presumption against the use of force has also been strengthened by the examples of the effectiveness of nonviolence in some places in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. Our conference's approach, as outlined in The Challenge of Peace, can be summarized in this way:

  1. In situations of conflict, our constant commitment ought to be, as far as possible, to strive for justice through nonviolent means.

  2. But, when sustained attempts at nonviolent action fail to protect the innocent against fundamental injustice, then legitimate political authorities are permitted as a last resort to employ limited force to rescue the innocent and establish justice.

Despite areas of convergence between a nonviolent ethic and a just-war ethic, however, we acknowledge the diverse perspectives within our Church on the validity of the use of force. Many believe just-war thinking remains valid because it recognizes that force may be necessary in a sinful world, even as it restrains war by placing strict moral limits on when, why and how this force may be used. Others object in principle to the use of force, and these principled objections to the just-war tradition are sometimes joined with other criticisms that just-war criteria have been ineffective in preventing unjust acts of war in recent decades and that these criteria cannot be satisfied under the conditions of modern warfare. Likewise, there are diverse points of view within the Catholic community on the moral meaning and efficacy of a total commitment to nonviolence in an unjust world. Clearly some believe that a full commitment to nonviolence best reflects the Gospel commitment to peace. Others argue that such an approach ignores the reality of grave evil in the world and avoids the moral responsibility to actively resist and confront injustice with military force if other means fail. Both the just-war and nonviolent traditions offer significant moral insight, but continue to face difficult tests in a world marked by so much violence and injustice. Acknowledging this diversity of opinion, we reaffirm the Church's traditional teaching on the ethical conditions for the use of force by public authority. Ten years after our pastoral letter, recent events raise new questions and concerns which need to be addressed:

  1. Nonviolence: New Importance
    As The Challenge of Peace observed, "The vision of Christian nonviolence is not passive about injustice and the defense of the rights of others." 6 It ought not be confused with popular notions of nonresisting pacifism. For it consists of a commitment to resist manifest injustice and public evil with means other than force. These include dialogue, negotiations, protests, strikes, boycotts, civil disobedience and civilian resistance. Although nonviolence has often been regarded as simply a personal option or vocation, recent history suggests that in some circumstances it can be an effective public undertaking as well. Dramatic political transitions in places as diverse as the Philippines and Eastern Europe demonstrate the power of nonviolent action, even against dictatorial and totalitarian regimes. Writing about the events of 1989, Pope John Paul II said,

    It seemed that the European order resulting from the Second World War . . . could only be overturned by another war. Instead, it has been overcome by the nonviolent commitment of people who, while always refusing to yield to the force of power, succeeded time after time in finding effective ways of bearing witness to the truth. 7

    These nonviolent revolutions challenge us to find ways to take into full account the power of organized, active nonviolence. What is the real potential power of serious nonviolent strategies and tactics and their limits? What are the ethical requirements when organized nonviolence fails to overcome evil and when totalitarian powers inflict massive injustice on an entire people? What are the responsibilities of and limits on the international community? One must ask, in light of recent history, whether nonviolence should be restricted to personal commitments or whether it also should have a place in the public order with the tradition of justified and limited war. National leaders bear a moral obligation to see that nonviolent alternatives are seriously considered for dealing with conflicts. New styles of preventative diplomacy and conflict resolution ought to be explored, tried, improved and supported. As a nation we should promote research, education and training in nonviolent means of resisting evil. Nonviolent strategies need greater attention in international affairs. Such obligations do not detract from a state's right and duty to defend against aggression as a last resort. They do, however, raise the threshold for the recourse to force by establishing institutions which promote nonviolent solutions of disputes and nurturing political commitment to such efforts. In some future conflicts, strikes and people power could be more effective than guns and bullets.

  2. Just War: New Questions
    The just-war tradition consists of a body of ethical reflection on the justifiable use of force. In the interest of overcoming injustice, reducing violence and preventing its expansion, the tradition aims at:

    1. clarifying when force may be used,

    2. limiting the resort to force and

    3. restraining damage done by military forces during war.

    The just-war tradition begins with a strong presumption against the use of force and then establishes the conditions when this presumption may be overridden for the sake of preserving the kind of peace which protects human dignity and human rights. In a disordered world, where peaceful resolution of conflicts sometimes fails, the just-war tradition provides an important moral framework for restraining and regulating the limited use of force by governments and international organizations. Since the just-war tradition is often misunderstood or selectively applied, we summarize its major components, which are drawn from traditional Catholic teaching. First, whether lethal force may be used is governed by the following criteria:

    • Just Cause:

      force may be used only to correct a grave, public evil, i.e., aggression or massive violation of the basic rights of whole populations;

    • Comparative Justice:

      while there may be rights and wrongs on all sides of a conflict, to override the presumption against the use of force the injustice suffered by one party must significantly outweigh that suffered by the other;

    • Legitimate Authority:

      only duly constituted public authorities may use deadly force or wage war;

    • Right Intention:

      force may be used only in a truly just cause and solely for that purpose;

    • Probability of Success:

      arms may not be used in a futile cause or in a case where disproportionate measures are required to achieve success;

    • Proportionality:

      the overall destruction expected from the use of force must be outweighed by the good to be achieved;

    • Last Resort:

      force may be used only after all peaceful alternatives have been seriously tried and exhausted.

    These criteria ( jus ad bellum), taken as a whole, must be satisfied in order to override the strong presumption against the use of force. Second, the just-war tradition seeks also to curb the violence of war through restraint on armed combat between the contending parties by imposing the following moral standards ( jus in bello) for the conduct of armed conflict:

    • Noncombatant Immunity:

      civilians may not be the object of direct attack, and military personnel must take due care to avoid and minimize indirect harm to civilians;

    • Proportionality:

      in the conduct of hostilities, efforts must be made to attain military objectives with no more force than is militarily necessary and to avoid disproportionate collateral damage to civilian life and property;

    • Right Intention:

      even in the midst of conflict, the aim of political and military leaders must be peace with justice, so that acts of vengeance and indiscriminate violence, whether by individuals, military units or governments, are forbidden.

    During the last decade, there has been increasing focus on the moral questions raised by the just-war tradition and its application to specific uses of force. We welcome this renewed attention and hope our own efforts have contributed to this dialogue. We also recognize that the application of these principles requires the exercise of the virtue of prudence; people of good will may differ on specific conclusions. The just-war tradition is not a weapon to be used to justify a political conclusion or a set of mechanical criteria that automatically yields a simple answer, but a way of moral reasoning to discern the ethical limits of action. Policy-makers, advocates and opponents of the use of force need to be careful not to apply the tradition selectively, simply to justify their own positions. Likewise, any application of just-war principles depends on the availability of accurate information not easily obtained in the pressured political context in which such choices must be made. The just-war tradition has attained growing influence on political deliberations on the use of force and in some forms of military training. Just-war norms helped shape public debate prior to the Gulf War. In addition, the military's call for civilian leaders to define carefully objectives for the use of force is in keeping with the spirit of the tradition. At the same time, some contemporary strategies and practices seem to raise serious questions when seen in the light of strict just-war analysis. For example, strategies calling for use of overwhelming and decisive force can raise issues of proportionality and discrimination. Strategies and tactics that lead to avoidable casualties are inconsistent with the underlying intention of the just-war tradition of limiting the destructiveness of armed conflict. Efforts to reduce the risk to a nation's own forces must be limited by careful judgments of military necessity so as not to neglect the rights of civilians and armed adversaries. In light of the preeminent place of air power in today's military doctrine, more reflection is needed on how traditional ethical restraints should be applied to the use of air forces. For example, the targeting of civilian infrastructure, which afflicts ordinary citizens long after hostilities have ceased, can amount to making war on noncombatants rather than against opposing armies. Fifty years after Coventry, Dresden, Hamburg, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ways must be found to apply standards of proportionality and noncombatant immunity in a meaningful way to air warfare. Moral reflection on the use of force calls for a spirit of moderation rare in contemporary political culture. The increasing violence of our society, its growing insensitivity to the sacredness of life and the glorification of the technology of destruction in popular culture could inevitably impair our society's ability to apply just-war criteria honestly and effectively in time of crisis. In the absence of a commitment of respect for life and a culture of restraint, it will not be easy to apply the just-war tradition, not just as a set of ideas, but as a system of effective social constraints on the use of force. There is need for greater public understanding of just-war criteria and greater efforts to apply just-war restraints in political decision making and military planning, training and command systems and public debate. Ten years after The Challenge of Peace, given the neglect of peaceable virtues and the destructiveness of today's weaponry, serious questions still remain about whether modern war in all its savagery can meet the hard tests set by the just-war tradition. Important work needs to be done in refining, clarifying and applying the just-war tradition to the choices facing our decision makers in this still violent and dangerous world.

C. The Centrality of Conscience

The task of peacemaking requires both just structures and a properly formed conscience. Our policies and structures of peace will reflect the integrity of the individuals who design and participate in them. For people of faith, this commitment involves a life-long task of reflecting on Sacred Scripture, cultivating virtues, understanding and applying wisely the Church's teaching on peace and praying for guidance. We are grateful for all that has been done in the past decade by so many to help form consciences, and we are aware of how much more we can and must do to better translate our moral reflections on war and peace into informed commitments of conscience. In this statement, just as in our pastoral letter of ten years ago, we state some universally applicable moral principles that are binding on all persons. For example, it is immoral for a commander to issue or for a soldier to obey a command to intentionally kill noncombatants in war. Concrete applications of universal principles  such as our call to reject the first use of nuclear weapons and the targeting of nonnuclear states, and our call for nuclear disarmament  are judgments about which Catholics may disagree. As we said in the peace pastoral, we "do not presume or pretend that clear answers exist to many of the personal, professional and financial choices" facing those in the military and defense industries. "We seek as moral teachers and pastors to be available to all who confront these questions of personal and vocational choice." 8 We hope that they will evaluate seriously the moral basis for our specific judgments and the implications for their work. And we will continue to improve our own efforts to offer our support and guidance to these and others who struggle on a daily basis to integrate their faith and their work. There is also a need to define further the proper relationship between the authority of the state and the conscience of the individual on matters of war and peace. In 1983, we restated our long-standing position on military service:

A citizen may not casually disregard his country's conscientious decision to call its citizens to acts of "legitimate defense." Moreover, the role of Christian citizens in the armed forces is a service to the common good and an exercise of the virtue of patriotism, so long as they fulfill this role within defined moral norms. 9

"At the same time," we noted, "no state may demand blind obedience." We repeat our support both for legal protection for those who conscientiously refuse to participate in any war (conscientious objectors) and for those who cannot, in good conscience, serve in specific conflicts they consider unjust or in branches of the service (e.g., the strategic nuclear forces) which would require them to perform actions contrary to deeply held moral convictions about indiscriminate killing (selective conscientious objection). 10

As we hold individuals in high esteem who conscientiously serve in the armed forces, so also we should regard conscientious objection and selective conscientious objection as positive indicators within the Church of a sound moral awareness and respect for human life. 11

There is a need to improve the legal and practical protection which this country rightly affords conscientious objectors and, in accord with the just-war tradition, to provide similar legal protection for selective conscientious objectors. 12 Selective conscientious objection poses complex, substantive and procedural problems, which must be worked out by moralists, lawyers and civil servants in a way that respects the rights of conscience without undermining the military's ability to defend the common good. 13 Given the particular problems that arise in the context of an all-volunteer military, individual objectors must exercise their rights in a responsible way, and there must be reliable procedures to verify the validity of their claims. Especially in cases where military service is compulsory, it is appropriate for the government to require alternative service to the community; this may be in or outside a military setting, depending on the abilities and conscience of the particular individual. 14

II. The Challenges of Peace in a New World An Agenda for Peacemaking

Peacemaking is both a personal and a social and political challenge: How do we live lives of love, truth, justice and freedom, and how do we advance these values through structures that shape our world? International peace is not achieved simply by proclaiming peaceful ideals; it also requires building the structures of peace. The Cold War subjected the world to "structures of sin." 15 It divided the world into blocs sustained by rigid ideologies. Its hallmarks included a massive denial of human rights by dictatorial regimes, an insane arms race and proxy wars fought mainly in the developing world. 16 The challenge today is to build a new international order that will be more just and more peaceful than the one it replaces. The millions and millions of people killed just in this century in war or by repressive regimes are ample proof that we must chart a new path to peace and justice. Pope John Paul II outlined this challenge this year in Denver,

[T]he international community ought to establish more effective structures for maintaining and promoting justice and peace. This implies that a concept of strategic interest should evolve which is based on the full development of peoples  out of poverty and toward a more dignified existence, out of injustice and exploitation toward fuller respect for the human person and the defense of universal human rights. 17

As we consider a new vision of the international community, five areas deserve special attention:

  1. strengthening global institutions,

  2. securing human rights,

  3. assuring sustainable and equitable development,

  4. restraining nationalism and eliminating religious violence and

  5. building cooperative security.

A. Strengthening Global Institutions

Catholic social teaching has long advocated a more integrated international system to serve the cause of human rights, to reduce war between and within states and to help transform political and economic interdependence into moral solidarity that reflects the common good. At this moment in history, we wish to affirm the positive duty of political leaders and citizens to support the development, reform and restructuring of regional and global political and legal institutions, especially the United Nations. The United Nations should be at the center of the new international order. As Pope John XXIII observed in Pacem in Terris, a world-wide public authority is necessary, not to limit or replace the authority of states, but rather to address fundamental problems that nations alone, no matter how powerful, cannot be expected to solve. 18 

Just as the United Nations should not be asked to solve problems it has neither the competence nor the resources to solve, neither should it be prevented from taking the bold steps necessary to fulfill the promise of its charter to save "succeeding generations from the scourge of war." Perhaps no challenge is more urgent or more complex than that of improving the United Nation's ability to reduce conflict in the world. Preventative diplomacy; peace-building after war, as in Cambodia and El Salvador; and peacekeeping all deserve special support and attention. 19 

The United States should play a constructive role in making the United Nations and other international institutions more effective, responsible and responsive. Effective multilateral institutions can relieve the United States of the burden, or the temptation, of becoming by itself the world's police force. Effective institutions, however, require the United States and other countries to make a sustained commitment of significant financial, material and political resources and to nurture a spirit of shared sacrifice and collaboration. At a minimum, the United States must pay in full its U.N. assessments. All nations, including the United States, will have to accept the legitimate authority of these institutions; decision-making processes will have to be more truly democratic; decisions will have to be applied more consistently; and these institutions will have to have the capacity to enforce international law. For example, the international system could be strengthened if the United States and other nations could move toward accepting the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice. The United Nations system has its own responsibility and obligation to bring to an end the waste of material and human resources that seems to afflict the system today. It has a task of reforming its own structures, to see to it that the end of its activities is not the continuation of bureaucracy but a service to the building up of peace and the common good. It is not enough, however, to pursue the common good of humanity through multilateral governmental institutions. If a healthy nation-state requires a strong civic society, so also a healthy international system requires strong nongovernmental groups. These transnational actors  human rights groups, humanitarian aid organizations, businesses, labor unions, the media, religious bodies and many others  can build bridges of understanding and respect between cultures and can contribute to positive social change and a sense of global community. We have no illusions about the daunting task of constructing a more viable international order, nor do we have any doubts that it must go forward if the twenty-first century is to be less violent and more humane than the twentieth.

B. Securing Human Rights 

The future of international peace hinges more than ever on the initiatives we are willing to take and the sacrifices we are willing to make for justice both within and among nations. An indispensable condition for a just and peaceful world order is the promotion and defense of human rights. In our religious tradition and international law, human rights include the spectrum of civil, political, social, cultural and economic rights. Promotion of the full complement of human rights and religious liberty has been and remains a central priority for our conference. Explicit recognition of these rights, as Pope John Paul II has reminded us, provides "an authentic and solid foundation" for the reforms of emerging democracies. 20 

Over the past four decades, some progress has been made by the international community and nongovernmental organizations in advancing the rights of oppressed peoples on every continent. In the years ahead, the maintenance of peace and the progress of authentic democracy in the world will require enhancing the priority in U.S. foreign policy of human rights, especially of the poor, women and vulnerable children, and improving international arrangements for their enforcement. We continue to be concerned about violations of human rights in many parts of the world. Religious liberty is too often denied or threatened in many countries, including China, some former Soviet Republics, Vietnam, Sudan, Cuba and parts of the former Yugoslavia. In several African countries, especially Zaire, Angola and Nigeria, political leaders have impeded progress toward democracy. The people of East Timor are denied human rights and self-determination. Even as the Middle East struggles toward a just peace, human rights continue to be a serious problem there. In Latin America, most notably in Brazil, death squads murder children, and in East Asia, the tourist trade makes young people victims of sexual exploitation. And on every continent, indigenous peoples have suffered egregious violations of their basic rights. There can be no true peace where governments, insurgencies or criminal elements deny people of any age their rights and dignity as human beings. Finally, we strongly condemn once again the horrible evil of ethnic cleansing in the Balkans. 21 

We are dismayed that the world community has been so ineffective in preventing this scourge and that it shows such reluctance to assist the victims in a sustained and resourceful way. Every effort must be taken to prevent the spread or repetition of this injustice in the months and years ahead. The destruction of people because of their religion, race, ethnicity or nationality is a crime against humanity which must be banished forever. A world marked by true respect for the life, dignity and rights of the human person will be a world at peace. The defense of human rights must be a consistent and persistent priority for the United States and for a world seeking peace.

C. Assuring Sustainable and Equitable Development 

Recent years have witnessed a continual deterioration of the economies of many developing nations, "reaching intolerable extremes of misery." 22 Virtually all authorities agree that the disparity of income and wealth between North and South, as well as within countries, including our own, has grown. The goal established by the United Nations in 1960 (the "Decade of Development") to lessen the gap between the poor nations and the rich nations has never been achieved. In fact, the gap has widened in each of the decades since 1960. In 1960, the richest fifth of the world's population held more than two-thirds of the world's wealth. Today, less than one-fifth of the world's people have more than four-fifths of global wealth, but the poorest billion have less than one-fiftieth. The most affluent fifth control 80 percent of world trade, savings and investment. In a world where almost one billion people exist barely on the margins of human life in absolute poverty, more than half of the earth's food is consumed by the rich nations. Every day a half billion people go hungry; three times that number are chronically ill. Half the world's population does not have safe water. A third are unemployed or underemployed and at least that many lack shelter. Almost twenty million, mainly women and children, are refugees, and twenty-four million more are displaced within their own countries. A quarter of a million children die every week from hunger, disease, violence or neglect. As Pope John Paul II has pointed out, "The collapse of the communist system in so many countries certainly removes an obstacle to facing these problems [in the Third World] in an appropriate and realistic way, but it is not enough to bring about their solution." 23 

These problems grew while the West spent billions of dollars to defend against communism, but, ironically, they seem harder to address without their Cold War connection. For example, it has become increasingly difficult to secure funds to support many foreign assistance programs. One of the disturbing signs of the times is a reduced priority given and growing indifference to the world's poor. From the perspective of faith, the modern world is more and more illustrative of the story of the rich man and Lazarus, with an ever-widening gap between the world's haves and have-nots. 24

"When the West gives the impression of abandoning itself to forms of growing and selfish isolation," Pope John Paul II warns, "then we are up against not only a betrayal of humanity's legitimate expectationsa betrayal that is a harbinger of unforeseeable consequencesbut also a real desertion of a moral obligation. 25 Perhaps the growing awareness of the planet-wide ecological crisis may offer a new opportunity to overcome "the temptation to close in upon [ourselves]" and to neglect "the responsibilities following from [a] superior position in the community of nations." 26 For as the leaders of the world recognized at the Earth Summit in 1992, our common future on Earth requires a new covenant between North and South, between rich nations and poor for sustainable global development. Sustainable development goes beyond "economic growth," which has been synonymous with the concept of development since the early 1960s. Rather, sustainable development is concerned with preserving the planet's ecological heritage, addressing the rampant poverty in the poorest nations, redirecting development in terms of quality rather than quantity in the industrial world, creating environmentally sensitive technologies and keeping population growth at sustainable levels through programs of development and education that respect cultural, religious and family values. Such a sustainable future demands heightened commitment by the United States and others to Third World development. Authentic development by poorer nations will not only help safeguard the Earth's resources for all peoples and reduce pollution and environmental degradation, but will also lessen the impact of population growth or decline on the environment and the overall development process. Only major changes in the international economic order will stop the flow of wealth from the poor to the rich. Arrangements of trade should ensure that poor countries obtain fair prices for their products and access to our markets. Foreign aid should focus more on empowering the poor to improve the quality of their lives than in shoring up the international economic system or pursuing national interest or competitive advantage. The financial system should try to mitigate the human consequences of the massive external debt of the developing countries. Both foreign and domestic investment in the developing countries should increase in ways that neither create nor perpetuate dependency; and environmentally designed technology needs to be shared with Third World countries and developed in ways appropriate to newly emerging economies. Even with these changes, foreign assistance must remain an important component of a just international economic order. Development assistance has been a shrinking part of U.S. foreign aid in recent years. Compared to other industrialized nations, we continue to rank near the bottom in terms of the share of our economy devoted to development assistance. Rather than abandon foreign aid at a time of growing isolationist sentiments, we need to redirect U.S. foreign assistance toward a more effective effort to help poor people improve the quality of their lives. In this effort, "it will be necessary above all," as Pope John Paul II has written, "to abandon a mentality in which the poor as individuals and as peoples are considered a burden, as irksome intruders trying to consume what others have produced." 27 

Rather, we must find new ways to empower the world's poor, especially women, to take control of their own lives so as to lead lives of dignity, not deprivation and dependency. The redesign of U.S. foreign aid and of aid by the international lending institutions ought to focus primarily on eliminating poverty. As we said in our pastoral letter, Economic Justice for All, a major test of all policies is their impact on the poor. Currently over half of all U.S. foreign aid is given for military and security purposes. Funding for development, especially for the poorest nations, can and should be realized through transfers from such economic security assistance and military aid to genuine development assistance. Foreign aid is more than an optional form of largesse. It is a fundamental obligation of solidarity on the part of those who enjoy a plentiful share of earth's riches to promote the rightful development of those who have barely enough to survive. In addition, the movement toward peace in the Middle East and Central America and efforts to promote democracy in Haiti will require programs of concerted economic assistance to succeed. If the gains of recent months are to be lasting, these areas, which have drawn so much U.S. attention in times of conflict, must receive high priority, along with the nations of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, as recipients of U.S. foreign aid. As we responded to violent conflict, now let us support the development which can help secure the fragile works of peace.

D. Restraining Nationalism and Eliminating Religious Violence 

One of the most disturbing threats to peace in the post-Cold War world has been the spread of conflicts rooted in national, ethnic, racial and religious differences. While the end of the Cold War may bring new hope for ending some of these conflicts, others continue their bloody logic largely unaffected by recent events and still others, frozen by the Cold War, have erupted with a new and deadly fury, fueled by the dangerous virus of extreme nationalism. We are especially concerned about the religious dimension of some of these conflicts. Every child murdered, every woman raped, every town "cleansed," every hatred uttered in the name of religion is a crime against God and a scandal for religious believers. Religious violence and nationalism deny what we profess in faith: We are all created in the image of the same God and destined for the same eternal salvation. "[N]o Christian can knowingly foster or support structures and attitudes that unjustly divide individuals or groups." 28 

Some would respond to conflicts with a religious dimension by marginalizing religion in society; by destroying the link between religion, culture and national identity; and even by repressing so-called fundamentalist movements, especially in the Islamic world. This would be to misinterpret the nature of these conflicts and devalue the positive role of religion in society. In most so-called religious conflicts, political, economic and ideological factors, rather than religious antagonisms, are the predominant causes of tension and violence. Instances of religion being the principal cause of conflict are extremely rare. From Central America and Eastern Europe to South Africa and the Philippines, authentic religious belief, rather than being a cause of conflict, has been a powerful moral force for nonviolent human liberation. This moral power is often rooted in the close identification of religious belief with a particular history, culture, language and nationality. Religious nationalism and religious conflict, while potentially serious problems, are best confronted by an increase, not a disparagement of authentic religious behavior. In conflicts in which ethnic, religious and nationalist factors are present, certain values take on special importance:

  1. Self-determination.

    Ethnic conflicts often center on competing claims of self-determination which have enormous appeal because they express a yearning for freedom, usually in the face of injustice and political turmoil. Nevertheless, movements for self-determination can also fuel an aggressive nationalism that can lead to division and civil war. Our own experience exemplifies this ambivalent nature of self-determination. Our nation was founded in the name of self-determination, yet many Americans are understandably uneasy about the disintegration and bloody conflicts sometimes associated with secessionist movements. Self-determination, understood as full political independence, should neither be dismissed as always harmful or unworkable nor embraced as an absolute right or a panacea in the face of injustice. Rather, efforts to find more creative ways to uphold the fundamental values embodied in self-determination claims are called for; peoples have a right to participate in shaping their cultural, religious, economic and political identities. Self-determination does not necessarily entail secession or full political independence; it can be realized through effective protection of basic human rights, especially minority rights, a degree of political and cultural autonomy and other arrangements, such as a federal or confederal system of government. While full political independence may be morally right and politically appropriate in some cases, it is essential that any new state meet the fundamental purpose of sovereignty: the commitment and capacity to create a just and stable political order and to contribute to the international common good. As claims to self-determination grow, the international community needs to devise more detailed moral, legal and political norms for evaluating such claims and for protecting the legitimate right of peoples to self-governance.

  2. Respect for Minority Rights.

    Nationalist conflicts often arise out of injustice and, in turn, can create new forms of injustice. Militant nationalism is less likely to flourish where there is a commitment to fundamental human rights civil, political, economic, social and cultural. Full respect for freedom of religion and minority rights is especially crucial. Governments have an affirmative obligation to protect the right of minorities to preserve and develop their religious and cultural identities. At the same time, minorities must respect the rights of others and show a firm willingness to contribute to the common good of the nation in which they live.

  3. Unity out of Diversity.

    Self-determination and human rights must be firmly linked to a commitment to tolerance and solidarity. Today, when few nations have truly homogeneous populations, increasing diversity can strain the integrity of both majority and minority cultures. Insistence on ethnic purity or efforts to eliminate cultural and ethnic diversity through aggressive assimilation into an overwhelming, homogeneous culture are not solutions to a difficult problem. Rather, the solution lies in striving toward unity while maintaining diversity. Ways must be found to celebrate religious, cultural and national identities at the same time that diverse peoples participate more fully in promoting the national and international common good.

  4. Dialogue and Reconciliation.

    Precisely because of their intractable and explosive nature, ethnic conflicts can be resolved only through political dialogue and negotiation. War and violence are unacceptable means for resolving ethnic conflicts; they serve only to exacerbate them. Nor are political solutions alone sufficient. Also needed is the commitment to reconciliation that is at the heart of the Christian and other religious traditions. For religious believers can imagine what some would dismiss as unrealistic: that even the most intense hatreds can be overcome by love, that free human beings can break historic cycles of violence and injustice, and that deeply divided peoples can learn to live together in peace. We address these questions of religious, ethnic and national strife aware of our own failings as a church and as a nation in fully respecting the rights of minorities, in embracing diversity and in avoiding excessive nationalism. No nation, including ours, has solved all racial, religious and ethnic conflicts, or is free of nationalist excesses. We, like others around the world, struggle to distinguish between love of country, which is patriotism, and idolatry of one's nation, which is a form of blasphemy. Finally, since the liberation of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union ended the Cold War, it is both just and wise that Americans work with the people of this region to overcome the disillusionment, hardship and instability that fuel the ethnic and nationalist conflicts there. We applaud and encourage the contributions and sacrifices many are making to help these nations succeed in their transition to democracy. We encourage far greater attention to the positive and essential role that religion has played and continues to play in building just and peaceful societies there and elsewhere in the world.

E. Building Cooperative Security Special Problems

Earlier, we addressed the need to strengthen our international institutions, especially the United Nations, in order to end the scourge of war. There are a number of special problems of international security that also must be addressed as part of any cooperative security framework, including

  1. the urgency of stopping nuclear proliferation and of promoting further progress toward nuclear disarmament,

  2. the need for general global demilitarization,

  3. the legitimacy and scope of economic sanctions,

  4. the requirements and risks of humanitarian intervention, and

  5. the issue of global responses to regional conflicts.

  1. Unfinished Business: Nuclear Disarmament and Proliferation.

    Our l983 pastoral letter focused special attention on the morality of nuclear weapons at a time of widespread fear of nuclear war. Only ten years later, the threat of global nuclear war may seem more remote than at any time in the nuclear age, but we may be facing a different but still dangerous period in which the use of nuclear weapons remains a significant threat. We cannot address questions of war and peace today, therefore, without acknowledging that the nuclear question remains of vital political and moral significance. The end of the Cold War has changed the nuclear question in three ways. First, nuclear weapons are still an integral component of U.S. security policies, but they are no longer at the center of these policies or of international relations. In 1983, a dominant concern was the ethics of nuclear weapons. Today, this concern, while still critically important, must be considered in the context of a more fundamental question of the ethical foundations of political order: How do we achieve Pacem in Terris' vision of a just and stable political order, so that nations will no longer rely on nuclear weapons for their security? Second, we have new opportunities to take steps toward progressive nuclear disarmament. In l983, the first task was to stop the growth of already bloated nuclear arsenals; today, the moral task is to proceed with deep cuts and ultimately to abolish these weapons entirely. Third, the threat of global nuclear war has been replaced by a threat of global nuclear proliferation. In addition to the declared nuclear powers, a number of other countries have or could very quickly deploy nuclear weapons, and still other nations, or even terrorist groups, might seek to obtain or develop nuclear weapons. Just as the nuclear powers must prevent nuclear war, so also they, with the rest of the international community, bear a heavy moral responsibility to stop the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

    1. The Moral Judgment on Deterrence.

      In 1983, we judged that nuclear deterrence may be morally acceptable as long as it is limited to deterring nuclear use by others; sufficiency, not nuclear superiority, is its goal; and it is used as a step on the way toward progressive disarmament. 29 Some believe that this judgment remains valid, since significant progress has been made in reducing nuclear weapons, including the most destabilizing ones, while at least some of those that remain are still necessary to deter existing nuclear threats. Others point to the end of the Soviet threat and the apparent unwillingness of the nuclear powers to accept the need to eliminate nuclear weapons as reasons for abandoning our strictly conditioned moral acceptance of nuclear deterrence. They also cite the double standard inherent in nonproliferation efforts: What is the moral basis for asking other nations to forego nuclear weapons if we continue to judge our own deterrent to be morally necessary? We believe our judgment of 1983 that nuclear deterrence is morally acceptable only under certain strict conditions remains a useful guide for evaluating the continued moral status of nuclear weapons in a post-Cold War world. It is useful because it acknowledges the fundamental moral dilemmas still posed by nuclear weapons, and it reflects the progress toward fulfilling the conditions we elaborated in 1983. At the same time, it highlights the new prospects and thus the added moral urgency  of making even more dramatic progress in arms control and disarmament as the only basis for the continued moral legitimacy of deterrence.

    2. A Post-Cold War Agenda For Nuclear Disarmament.

      While significant progress has been made in recent years, we believe additional steps are needed if nuclear policies and priorities are to keep up with the dramatic changes in world politics and if our nation is to move away from relying on nuclear deterrence as a basis for its security. Present challenges include the following:

      • The Role of Nuclear Weapons:

        We must continue to say No to the very idea of nuclear war. A minimal nuclear deterrent may be justified only to deter the use of nuclear weapons. The United States should commit itself never to use nuclear weapons first, should unequivocally reject proposals to use nuclear weapons to deter any nonnuclear threats, and should reinforce the fragile barrier against the use of these weapons. Indeed, we abhor any use of nuclear weapons.

      • Arms Control and Disarmament:

        Nuclear deterrence may be justified only as a step on the way toward progressive disarmament. The end of the Cold War, according to the Holy See, "challenge[s] the world community to adopt a post-nuclear form of security. That security lies in the abolition of nuclear weapons and the strengthening of international law." 30 A first step toward this goal would be prompt ratification and implementation of the START I and START II treaties. Even once these treaties are fully implemented, there will still be more than 10,000 nuclear weapons in the world, containing explosive power hundreds of thousands times greater than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Therefore, much deeper cuts are both possible and necessary. The eventual elimination of nuclear weapons is more than a moral ideal; it should be a policy goal. The negotiation of a verifiable comprehensive test ban treaty would not only demonstrate our commitment to this goal, but also would improve our moral credibility in urging nonnuclear nations to forego the development of nuclear weapons. We, therefore, support a halt to nuclear testing as our nation pursues an effective global test ban and renewal of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Also, steps must be taken to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism. We must reverse the spread of nuclear technologies and materials. We welcome, therefore, U.S. efforts to achieve a global ban on the production of fissionable materials for use in nuclear weapons. Finally, one should not underestimate the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency as a forum for the discussion of these issues and as a force encouraging nations to take the steps necessary in this area.

      • Cooperative Security and a Just International Order:

        The nuclear powers may justify, and then only temporarily, their nuclear deterrents only if they use their power and resources to lead in the construction of a more just and stable international order. An essential part of this international order must be a collective security framework that reverses the proliferation of nuclear weapons, guarantees the security of nonnuclear states and ultimately seeks to make nuclear weapons and war itself obsolete. The United States and other nations should also make the investments necessary to help ensure the development of stable, democratic governments in nations which have nuclear weapons or might seek to obtain them.

    An active commitment by the United States to nuclear disarmament and the strengthening of collective security is the only moral basis for temporarily retaining our deterrent and our insistence that other nations forego these weapons. We advocate disarmament by example: careful but clear steps to reduce and end our dependence on weapons of mass destruction. In our five-year report on The Challenge of Peace, we said: "To contain the nuclear danger of our time is itself an awesome undertaking. To reshape the political fabric of an increasingly interdependent world is an even larger and more complicated challenge." 31 Now, on this tenth anniversary, we must be engaged in the difficult task of envisioning a future rooted in peace, with new institutions for resolving differences between nations, new global structures of mediation and conflict-resolution and a world order that has moved beyond nuclear weapons once and for all. We are committed to join in this struggle, to bring the Gospel message of justice and peace to this vital work.

  2. Demilitarization.

    Each year, our nation spends about $275 billion on the military; the entire world spends nearly $1 trillion. The end of the Cold War has led to a welcome decline in U.S. and world military expenditures, but still excessive levels of such spending remain, in the words of Pope John Paul II, a "serious disorder" in a world where millions of people lack even the necessities of life. 32 According to the Holy Father, the moral judgment about the arms trade "is even more severe." 33 At present there are more than forty regional conflicts, almost all of these fueled by a seemingly limitless arms trade. Recent wars in Central America, Iraq, Somalia, Angola and Afghanistan provide ample evidence that weapons not only exacerbate conflicts and fuel regional arms races, but, as with Iraq, are often turned against those who supply them. Moreover, the recipients are often irresponsible or repressive regimes whose military ambitions rob their people of their right to human development and sentence them to increasing misery. Our experience over the past decade reinforces the judgment of the Second Vatican Council: ". . . [T]he arms race is one of the greatest curses on the human race and the harm it inflicts on the poor is more than can be endured." 34 What is especially discouraging is that our country, as well as other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, each of which have accepted a special responsibility for international peace, are the major participants some would say profiteers  in this lethal trade. We are faced with a paradoxical situation in which modest defense reductions at home seem to encourage the export of militarism abroad. Defense spending is cut while weapons continue to be supplied to others without effective restraints. It is a matter of concern when the desire to protect jobs in the defense industry overshadows the interests of international peace and stability. As the world's largest supplier of weapons, the United States bears great responsibility for curbing the arms trade by taking concrete actions to reduce its own predominant role in this trade. 35 The human consequences of unemployment and economic disruption caused by defense cuts must be addressed concretely through economic development and conversion programs, a stronger nonmilitary economy and other programs to assist those who lose their jobs. Jobs at home cannot justify exporting the means of war abroad. Neither jobs nor profits justify military spending beyond the minimum necessary for legitimate national security and international peacekeeping obligations. The end of the Cold War still provides an opportunity to reduce substantially military spending. Prudence requires that this reduction take into account emerging threats to world peace. Prudence also dictates that we use the unparalleled opportunities at hand to find alternative ways to respond to new dangers as we redirect resources to meet nonmilitary threats to international security. Diverting scarce resources from military to human development is not only a just and compassionate policy, but it is also a wise long-term investment in global peace and national security.

  3. Economic Sanctions.

    In the aftermath of the Cold War, comprehensive economic sanctions have become a more common form of international pressure. In the case of Iraq and the former Yugoslavia, our bishops' conference has supported sanctions as a means of combating aggression short of military intervention; in the case of South Africa, we have supported less onerous sanctions to encourage the dismantling of apartheid and adopted a policy of divestment to renounce complicity in this immoral regime and to stand in solidarity with those who were seeking to end it. In other cases, we have not been convinced that comprehensive sanctions were helpful, and in still others, we have not taken a position. In each case, we have consulted closely with the Church in the country affected and have been guided by its judgment. Our record on sanctions reflects an inherent dilemma involved in this form of pressure. We hear the cries of innocent people in Serbia, Haiti, Iraq, Cuba and elsewhere who have lost their jobs, who can no longer afford what food is available, whose health is deteriorating and whose political leaders remain recalcitrant and as strong as ever. We take very seriously the charge that sanctions can be counterproductive and sometimes unjustifiably harm the innocent. Yet, sanctions can offer a nonmilitary alternative to the terrible options of war or indifference when confronted with aggression or injustice. While much more study, reflection and public debate over the moral dimension of comprehensive sanctions is needed, we offer the following tentative criteria as a contribution to this discussion. First, concerns about the limited effectiveness of sanctions and the harms caused to civilian populations require that comprehensive sanctions be considered only in response to aggression or grave and ongoing injustice, after less coercive measures have been tried, and with clear and reasonable conditions set for their removal. Second, the harm caused by sanctions should be proportionate to the good likely to be achieved; sanctions should avoid grave and irreversible harm to the civilian population. Therefore, sanctions should be targeted as much as possible against those directly responsible for the injustice, distinguishing between the government and the people. Selective sanctions which target offending individuals and institutions are usually preferable, therefore, to complete embargoes. Embargoes, when employed, must make provision for the fundamental human needs of the civilian population. The denial of basic needs may not be used as a weapon. Third, the consent to sanctions by substantial portions of the affected population is morally relevant. While this consent may mitigate concerns about suffering caused by sanctions, however, it does not eliminate the need for humanitarian exemptions. Finally, sanctions should always be part of a broader process of diplomacy aimed at finding an effective political solution to the injustice. The troubling moral problems posed by the suffering caused by sanctions and the limits to their effectiveness counsel that this blunt instrument be used sparingly and with restraint. Economic sanctions may be acceptable, but only if less coercive means fail, as an alternative to war and as a means of upholding fundamental international norms.

  4. Humanitarian Intervention.

    In recent years, we hear increasing calls for humanitarian intervention, that is, the forceful, direct intervention by one or more states or international organizations in the internal affairs of other states for essentially humanitarian purposes. The internal chaos, repression and widespread loss of life in countries such as Haiti, Bosnia, Liberia, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan and now Burundi, have all raised the difficult moral, political and legal questions that surround these calls to intervene in the affairs of sovereign states to protect human life and basic human rights. Pope John Paul II, citing the "conscience of humanity and international humanitarian law," has been outspoken in urging that "humanitarian intervention be obligatory where the survival of populations and entire ethnic groups is seriously compromised. This is a duty for nations and the international community." 36 He elaborated on this right and duty of humanitarian intervention in his 1993 annual address to the diplomatic corps:

    Once the possibilities afforded by diplomatic negotiations and the procedures provided for by international agreements and organizations have been put into effect, and that [sic], nevertheless, populations are succumbing to the attacks of an unjust aggressor, states no longer have a "right to indifference." It seems clear that their duty is to disarm this aggressor, if all other means have proved ineffective. The principles of the sovereignty of states and of non-interference in their internal affairs  which retain all their value  cannot constitute a screen behind which torture and murder may be carried out. 37

    The Holy Father's appeal for humanitarian intervention reflects several concerns. First, human life, human rights and the welfare of the human community are at the center of Catholic moral reflection on the social and political order. Geography and political divisions do not alter the fact that we are all one human family, and indifference to the suffering of members of that family is not a moral option. Second, sovereignty and nonintervention into the life of another state have long been sanctioned by Catholic social principles, but have never been seen as absolutes. Therefore, the principles of sovereignty and nonintervention may be overridden by forceful means in exceptional circumstances, notably in the cases of genocide or when whole populations are threatened by aggression or anarchy. Third, nonmilitary forms of intervention should take priority over those requiring the use of force. Humanitarian aid programs, combined with political and economic sanctions, arms embargoes and diplomatic initiatives may save lives without requiring military intervention. In this context, we affirm the responsibility, which must be respected, of humanitarian relief organizations to aid civilians in war zones and their right of access to vulnerable populations. In the longer run, the international community's first commitment must be to address the root causes of these conflicts, to support the spread of democratic and just political and economic orders, to develop the capacity to prevent conflicts and to settle them promptly and peacefully when they erupt. Fourth, military intervention may sometimes be justified to ensure that starving children can be fed or that whole populations will not be slaughtered. They represent St. Augustine's classic case: love may require force to protect the innocent. The just-war tradition reminds us, however, that military force, even when there is just cause, must remain an exceptional option that conforms strictly to just-war norms and norms of international policing. The particular difficulties involved in meeting criteria of success and proportionality in cases of humanitarian intervention deserve careful scrutiny and further examination. Intervention should also remain limited to achieving clearly defined humanitarian objectives and to establishing conditions necessary for a just and stable peace. We must be wary that the outstretched hand of peace is not turned into an iron fist of war. Finally, a right to intervene must be judged in relation to the broader effort to strengthen international law and the international community. Principles of sovereignty and nonintervention remain crucial to maintaining international peace and the integrity of nations, especially the weaker ones. The exceptional cases when humanitarian concerns may justify overriding these principles must be more clearly defined in international law, political philosophy and ethics. Moreover, effective mechanisms must be developed to ensure that humanitarian intervention is an authentic act of international solidarity and not a cloak for great power dominance, as it sometimes has been in the past. Multilateral interventions, under the auspices of the United Nations, are preferable because they enhance the legitimacy of these actions and can protect against abuse. If these considerations are taken into account, humanitarian intervention need not open the door to new forms of imperialism or endless wars of altruism, but could be an exceptional means to ensure that governments fulfill the purposes of sovereignty and meet the needs of their people, as the world urgently searches for effective nonviolent means to confront injustice and political disorder.

  5. Global Responses to Regional Conflicts.

    Today's threats to peace tend to be more regional than global, more rooted in geographic, tribal, national and ethnic conflict than in ideological disputes. Though regional, however, they call for a continuing response from the United States and the international community. Without attempting to reiterate our concerns about pressing problems in countries as diverse as Bosnia, East Timor, China, Peru and Northern Ireland, the following reflections on Africa, Asia, Central America and the Caribbean and the Middle East highlight the importance of resolving regional and internal conflicts and developing mechanisms for peace building at the local and regional levels.

    Africa The African continent continues to be wracked by conflict and neglected by U.S. foreign policy. While progress has been made toward reconciliation in some Cold War conflicts, like that in Mozambique, elsewhere fighting continues. Since 1960, not a day has passed without armed conflict. In Sudan, no end is in sight to a lengthy civil war in which government troops have massacred Christians, starved them by siege, forced some into slavery and coerced many into religious conversion. In Somalia, United Nations forces have not yet succeeded in establishing the peaceful conditions which will permit relief work to continue unimpeded and civil life to be restored. In South Africa, a long-awaited transition to nonracial democracy is marred by intergroup violence. In Zaire, troops still loyal to the old dictatorship hamper progress toward a renewal of democratic government, while in Burundi age-old tribal animosities have again brought bloodshed and dislocations.

    Asia In some parts of this important region the Church is struggling, frequently against official opposition, to win the freedom to openly proclaim the Gospel. We especially support the persistent efforts of our brother bishops in China and Vietnam to demonstrate that genuine religious liberty can improve national harmony, reduce international tensions and contribute to the common good. We renew our commitments in our pastoral reflection of 1989, A Time for Dialogue and Healing, including "our wish to work with our brother bishops in Vietnam toward a better understanding between our two peoples," and our call for "full and genuine respect for the role of the Church by the Vietnamese government," and for the United States and the broader international community to assist Vietnam "to enter the world trading and diplomatic community."

    Central America and the Caribbean For much of the last decade, Central America pre-occupied our nation and this conference. Thankfully, the guns of war have mostly fallen silent as a result of dialogue, negotiation and a return to democratic decision making. Sadly, the United States, which invested so much in the armed conflict in the region, seems almost indifferent now to the need for significant investment in its development and reconstruction. If the countries of the region are not to return to cycles of violence and repression, continued U.S. involvement and aid will be needed for some time to come. Greater sensitivity on the part of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to the impact of their decisions on the abilities of countries to rebuild is also much needed. We stand with our brother bishops in Cuba in their courageous declaration Love Hopes All Things. 38 We support their call for greater religious and political freedom and direct humanitarian assistance, especially food and medicine, from our nation and others at this time of deprivation for their long-suffering people. We hope with them that substantial, improved performance by the Cuban authorities with regard to human rights and religious liberty could lead to progressively greater opportunities for trade and dialogue between our two nations and within Cuban society. We stand in solidarity with the Church and people of Cuba in their hopes for greater freedom and opportunity. For all too long the people of Haiti have suffered from grinding poverty, denial of human rights, predatory government, indiscriminate violence and the indifference of outsiders. Today we must accompany the Haitian people as they travel the long road toward democracy and civil peace. To enjoy the fruits of peace, all parties will have to respect basic human rights and commit themselves to restraint and reconciliation. Once the rule of law is established, the Haitian people will need the support of the United States and of the international community for years to come in the development of their island. Much needs to be done in order to institutionalize democratic political processes that will lead to justice for all Haitians.

    Middle East We give thanks to God for the interim agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. It is an historic opening to a new era for which the whole world has been longing for many years. We applaud the courage, the imagination and the spirit of compromise that has been shown in negotiating this major advance toward peace in the Holy Land. The agreement is an historic beginning, which must be carried out fully, supported actively and expanded upon quickly. We support full autonomy for the West Bank, and a true homeland for the Palestinians, and look forward to a final settlement that will protect the rights and security of all people, including Israelis and Palestinians. To succeed, the interim Israeli-Palestinian accord on Gaza and Jericho as well as eventual Palestinian self-rule on the West Bank will require serious support from the international community, especially from the United States. Aid and technical support are needed for building up the autonomous Palestinian territories and for reconstruction of Lebanon. As the U.S. has been generous in supporting Israel's security, so now it should be unstinting in helping to build peace for the region. A lasting settlement in the region must include a resolution of the status of Jerusalem that reflects its unique role as a city holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians alike. Any settlement must include full recognition of the rights of all believers in the Holy Land and their unimpeded access to the Holy Places. 39 We hope that a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian issue will be the impetus for tangible progress toward development and disarmament, peace and security in regional negotiations. Lebanon, which has suffered so much until now and which still needs to reacquire its full sovereignty from all its neighbors, is in special need of peace and reconstruction. The people of Iraq also deserve relief from their present oppressive situation. The new era must bring comprehensive steps toward a just peace for the whole region. These and other conflicts show the need for early and vigorous responses by the international community to support reconciliation processes whether they are supervised by domestic leaders or outside mediators. During the Cold War, the United States gave substantial support to rebel groups and client governments to prevent the spread of communism. Therefore, it bears a special responsibility in this new era to provide assistance to overcome the legacy of apartheid, civil war and autocratic rule and to bolster civilian groups eager for peace and the rebirth of democracy. In these regions and throughout the world, violence and repression have led to a refugee crisis of tragic proportions. The United States and other nations cannot close their eyes or their doors to the tide of suffering humanity. Our laws and policies should reflect our historic openness to victims of war and oppression. Welcoming refugees is an essential part of peacemaking.

F. Shaping Responsible U.S. Leadership in the World

The preeminence of U.S. influence and power in the world is an undisputed fact. This fact is of great moral significance, first, because American values and actions can bring tremendous good or much suffering to people around the world; and second, because with power and influence comes a responsibility to contribute to the universal common good. Our nation needs to offer hope for a better future for millions here at home, but, in the face of the world's enormous needs, Pope John Paul II reminds us that a turn to "selfish isolation" would not only be "a betrayal of humanity's legitimate expectations. . . but also a real desertion of a moral obligation." 40 Building peace, combating poverty and despair and protecting freedom and human rights are not only moral imperatives, but also wise national priorities. They can shape a world that will be a safer, more secure and more just home for all of us. Responsible international engagement is based on the conviction that our national interests and the interests of the international community, our common good and the global common good are intertwined. For these reasons, the leaders and people of the United States are called to take up the vocation to peacemaking with new urgency and commitment. Accepting, though not exaggerating, the lessons of recent history, acknowledging the limits of U.S. influence and humbly confessing past excesses and failures, we are called to commit ourselves firmly to joining with other nations in building a new kind of world, one that is more peaceful, just and respectful of the life and dignity of the human person. Having paid such a price in the lives of their young and spent so much of their national treasure on the wars of this century, it is both wise and understandable that Americans are reluctant to commit themselves also to serve as the world's police force. As a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council and the strongest military power in the world, however, the U.S. has a special responsibility to work with other nations to find cooperative ways to promote international peace. As Pope John Paul II said this year in Denver, "Together with millions of people around the globe I share the profound hope that in the present international situation the United States will spare no effort in advancing authentic freedom and in fostering human rights and solidarity." 41 As our nation helps shape a new world, we must be aware of the values we are contributing to this new order. The best of America's values and actions continue to inspire other peoples' struggles for justice and freedom and contribute to building a more just and peaceful world. Of special significance have been our democratic ideals, which have inspired the spread of democracy and political transformations in many parts of the world. Our society's excessive individualism and materialism, pervasive violence and tendency to denigrate moral and religious values, however, can be harmful. A practical materialism and a militant secular mentality undermine cultural and moral values here and abroad, generate expectations that cannot and should not necessarily be fulfilled and inhibit efforts to strengthen international order. What the United States can offer the world  and what the world desperately needs  is creative engagement, a willingness to collaborate and a commitment to values that can build up the global community. "Liberty and justice for all" is not only a profound national pledge; it is also a worthy goal for a world leader.

III. Concluding Commitments: Blessed Are the Peacemakers

A. A Renewed Commitment 

Ten years after The Challenge of Peace, we renew our commitment to peacemaking. We are still at a beginning, not an end. On the fifth anniversary of our pastoral letter, we said we must work "to broaden, strengthen and deepen the Church's work for peace." We are still called to build a peacemaking church that constantly prays and teaches, speaks and acts for peace. Once again we ask our parishes and people to join with us in:

  • Regular prayer for peace.

    Every liturgy is a call to and celebration of peace. The cause of peace should be constantly reflected in our prayers of petition. The scriptural call to peacemaking should be a constant source for prayer and preaching.

  • Sharing the Gospel call to peace and the Church's teaching on peace.

    In our schools and seminaries, our religious education and formation efforts, our colleges and universities, we need to continue and intensify our efforts to integrate Catholic teaching on justice, nonviolence and peace into the curriculum and broader life of our educational endeavors. Education is a work of peace.

  • Speaking and acting for peace.

    In our advocacy and citizenship efforts, we are called to use the resources of our faith and the opportunities of our democracy to help shape a U.S. foreign policy clearly committed to human life and human rights. Through legislative networks and broader participation in the political process, Catholics can take our principles of peacemaking into the public arena, where they can help shape an active and constructive U.S. role in the world.

In these reflections, we outline an agenda for action, which will guide the conference's future advocacy. We will work for:

  • Creative, engaged and responsible U.S. leadership that rejects the illusion of isolationism and avoids the dangers of unwise intervention;

  • A reshaped foreign aid program designed to combat poverty with sustainable development and the economic development of the poor, especially women;

  • Substantive changes in the international economic order to stop the movement of wealth from the poor to the rich;

  • A commitment to strengthening and improving the capacity of the United Nations and other multilateral institutions to promote human development, democracy, human rights and peace;

  • Accelerated progress toward a nuclear test ban, eliminating nuclear weapons, preventing nuclear proliferation, restraining the arms trade and encouraging world-wide demilitarization;

  • Legal protection for selective conscientious objectors and improved protection for conscientious objectors;

  • Prudent use of economic sanctions as an alternative to war and means to enforce fundamental international norms;

  • Clarification of the right and duty of humanitarian intervention in exceptional cases, by means consistent with Catholic teaching on nonviolence and just war, when the survival of whole populations is threatened.

The Catholic community in the United States is already a very active and involved part of both the Universal Church and a nation with clear global responsibilities. Day by day, we seek to build a more just and peaceful world through the work of Catholic Relief Services, our migration and refugee programs, missionary efforts, advocacy on international issues and existing aid programs to the churches in Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. In these anniversary reflections we call on the leaders of these impressive programs to explore together ways of building upon and strengthening our community's efforts to help those in need and to work for justice around the world. Our international education, outreach and advocacy efforts need to continue to help shape a Church and nation more clearly committed to solidarity and global responsibility.

B. A Call to Conversion and Hope

In our pastoral of ten years ago, we outlined a call to conversion, reflection and peacemaking: "Peacemaking is not an optional commitment. It is a requirement of our faith. We are called to be peacemakers, not by some movement of the moment, but by our Lord Jesus." 42 Now ten years later Jesus calls us to be peacemakers in a very different world. In these anniversary reflections, we have focused less on particular weapons and wars and more on a broader context of violence which still pervades our communities, our country and our world. This violence is one of the saddest "signs of our times." We see the violence of abortion accepted as normal by too many Americans. We fear our society is becoming accustomed to children dying in our streets and in villages half a world away. We may be growing indifferent to entertainment saturated with blood and death, to nightly television images of deadly warfare, racial hatred and ethnic cleansing. The pervasiveness of violence deadens our response to the human suffering and the moral damage it causes. Our age seems to seek quick and decisive solutions to difficult problems, to turn to violence rather than to embark on the painful and complicated search for less deadly, more lasting solutions which require sacrifice, patience and time. We observe signs of this tragic trend in our domestic life where abortion is seen as a solution to difficult pregnancies, where capital punishment is embraced as a response to rising crime and where euthanasia is advocated in the face of the burdens of age and illness. In global affairs, we see similar temptations. Age old antagonisms are fought out in bloody warfare; terrorism is seen as a means of revenge and advancing a cause; and military force is too often employed as the principal means to redress injustice or to safeguard interests. It is time to clearly recognize that in the end violence is not a solution, but more often the problem. As we reaffirm the Church's teachings on war and peace, we insist that the world community must urgently search for effective ways to move beyond the violence of war and terrorism to settle scores or to defend what is precious. We need new policies, new structures, new attitudes to resolve disputes and address injustice. As our Holy Father has said:

No, never again war, which destroys the lives of innocent people, teaches how to kill, throws into upheaval even the lives of those who do the killing and leaves behind a trail of resentment and hatred, thus making it all the more difficult to find a just solution of the very problems which provoked the war. Just as the time has finally come when in individual states a system of private vendetta and reprisal has given way to the rule of law, so too a similar step forward is now urgently needed in the international community. 43

Some will find this goal a pious hope or utopian dream. No doubt, finding ways to move the world beyond war will be a complex, demanding and difficult struggle. But it is a task that must be pursued by all who take faith seriously, and honestly assess the human, social and moral costs of continuing conflict and bloodshed. As history's bloodiest century ends, there should be no question that, in the words of Pope John Paul II, we must "proceed resolutely toward outlawing war completely and come to cultivate peace as a supreme good to which all programs and all strategies must be subordinated." 44 At its heart, today's call to peacemaking is a call to conversion, to change our hearts, to reject violence, to love our enemies. We will not fashion new policies until we repudiate old thinking. Ten years ago, in addressing the seemingly intractable dynamic of the Cold War, our pastoral letter suggested:

To believe we are condemned in the future only to what has been the past of United States-Soviet relations is to underestimate both our human potential for creative diplomacy and God's action in our midst which can open the way to changes we could barely imagine. 45

Changes we could barely imagine ten years ago have taken place before our eyes. Without violence, the hope, courage and power of ordinary people have brought down walls, restored freedoms, toppled governments and changed the world. For believers, hope is not a matter of optimism but a resource for action, a source of strength in demanding causes. For peacemakers, hope is the indispensable virtue. This hope, together with our response to the call to conversion, must be rooted in God's promises and nourished by prayer and penance, including fasting and Friday abstinence. 46

C. Witnesses to Peacemaking

In our faith, we find the reason for hope and witnesses for genuine peacemaking. In the Scriptures, in the life of Jesus and in the teaching of his Church are the principles we need to follow as peacemakers. We also find examples in the witness of peacemakers across the globe. Pope John Paul II has been a consistent voice for peace and justice in a world lacking both. We watched with awe the courage and faithfulness of Solidarity and other movements for freedom in Eastern Europe. We have seen the leadership and sacrifice of church leaders in Central America who stand with the poor and suffering, who call for dialogue and reconciliation to replace repression and war. We cannot forget the scenes of people in the Philippines confronting guns and tanks with rosaries and flowers. Our call to peacemaking does not have the drama and dangers these peacemakers and so many others have faced. But each of us is called in our own way to work for peace with justice in our own families and communities, our nation and world. As pastors, we especially seek to support lay men and women who are called to serve the cause of peace by breaking down barriers of alienation and creating bonds of friendship and love in their personal and family lives, in their daily commitments as members of our armed forces, diplomats, researchers, advocates, workers, scientists and public officials. We also seek to encourage preachers, teachers, chaplains and all believers to share the scriptural call to peace, the teachings of the Church and the message of our pastoral. We urge all Catholics to join with us in finding ways to be true peacemakers as citizens of a powerful nation and shrinking world.

D. Concluding Word

In this anniversary statement, we have shared more challenges than answers, offered more pastoral reflections than policy prescriptions. This approach reflects our conviction that the most fundamental task is for our community of faith to understand and act on two fundamental ideas. The first is drawn from the beatitudes: "Blessed are the peacemakers, they will be called children of God." The second is the familiar call of Pope Paul VI: "If you want peace, work for justice." These two deceptively simple statements outline the key elements of our mission: To be a Christian is to be a peacemaker and to pursue peace is to work for justice. The Challenge of Peace contributed to greater prayer, reflection, discussion and action for peace on the part of many. We hope these anniversary reflections will help renew and revitalize discussion in the Catholic community and contribute to the dialogue in the broader community on the moral dimensions of foreign affairs. Our peacemaking vocation is not a passing priority, a cause for one decade, but an essential part of our mission to proclaim the Gospel and renew the earth. As followers of the Prince of Peace, we work for a world where the promise of the Apostle James is realized for all God's children: The harvest of justice is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace. James 3:18.



  1. John Paul II, On Social Concern (Sollicitudo Rei Socialis), papal encyclical ( Washington, D.C.: Office for Publishing and Promotion Services, 1987), no. 23.

  2. Ibid., no. 39.

  3. John Paul II, On the Hundredth Anniversary of Rerum Novarum (Centesimus Annus), papal encyclical (Washington, D.C.: USCC Office for Publishing and Promotion Services, 1991), no. 52.

  4. On Social Concern

    , nos. 38, 39.

  5. National Conference of Catholic Bishops, The Challenge of Peace, (Washington, D.C.: USCC Office for Publishing and Promotion Services, 1983), no. 73.

  6. Ibid., no. 116.

  7. On the Hundredth Anniversary of

    Rerum Novarum, no. 23.

  8. The Challenge of Peace

    , no. 318.

  9. Ibid., no. 232.

  10. National Conference of Catholic Bishops, Human Life in Our Day (Washington, D.C.: USCC Office for Publishing and Promotion Services, 1968), nos. 143-153.

  11. United States Catholic Conference, Declaration on Conscientious Objection and Selective Conscientious Objection (Washington, D.C.: USCC Office for Publishing and Promotion Services, 1971).

  12. Archbishop John Roach, "Letter to Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney," October 23, 1991, Origins 21:22 (November 7, 1991), 352.

  13. Declaration on Conscientious Objection and Selective Conscientious Objection.
  14. Cf. Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes), nos. 79, 80.

  15. On Social Concern

    , no. 36.

  16. Ibid., nos. 20-22, 36; On the Hundredth Anniversary of Rerum Novarum, no.18.

  17. John Paul II, "Remarks at Welcoming Ceremonies and at Regis College," Origins 23:11 (August 26, 1993), 188.

  18. John XXIII, Peace on Earth (Pacem in Terris), papal encyclical, (Washington, D.C.: USCC Office for Publishing and Promotion Services, 1963), no. 140.

  19. Of the many proposals being considered, special attention should be given the U.N. Secretary General's wide-ranging blueprint for strengthening the United Nation's ability to keep and build peace through collective security: An Agenda for Peace (New York: United Nations, 1992). See also U.N. Association of the USA Global Policy Project, Partners for Peace: Strengthening Collective Security for the 21st Century (New York: UNA-USA Publications, 1992).

  20. On the Hundredth Anniversary of

    Rerum Novarum, no. 47.

  21. See, e.g., Archbishop John R. Roach, "Letter to Secretary of State Warren Christopher," May 11, 1993, Origins 23:2 (May 27, 1993), 22; USCC Administrative Board, "War in the Balkans: Moral Challenges, Policy Choices," March 25, 1993, Origins 22:43 (April 8, 1993), 733; Archbishop Daniel Pilarcyzk, "Statement on War in Croatia," November 11, 1991; USCC Administrative Board, "Statement on the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia," September 12, 1991, Origins 21:16 (September 26, 1991), 258.

  22. Fourth General Conference of Latin American Bishops, October 12-28, 1992, Santo Domingo Conclusions: New Evangelization, Human Development, Christian Culture (Washington, D.C.: USCC Office for Publishing and Promotion Services, 1993), no. 179.

  23. On the Hundredth Anniversary of

    Rerum Novarum, no.42.

  24. On Social Concern

    , nos. 14-17.

  25. Ibid., no. 23.

  26. Ibid., no. 23.

  27. On the Hundredth Anniversary of

    Rerum Novarum, no. 28.

  28. John Paul II, "To Build Peace, Respect Minorities," 1989 World Day of Peace Message, Origins 18:29 (December 29, 1988), 469.

  29. The Challenge of Peace

    , nos. 186-188.

  30. Archbishop Renato Martino, "Address to the United Nations Committee on Disarmament," Origins 23:21 (November 4, 1993), 382.

  31. United States Catholic Conference, A Report on The Challenge of Peace and Policy Developments 1983-1988 (Washington D.C.: USCC Office for Publishing and Promotion Services, 1988), no. 129.

  32. On Social Concern

    , no. 24.

  33. Ibid., no. 24.

  34. Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes), no. 81.

  35. According to the Congressional Research Service, the United States has been "the predominant arms supplier. . . since the Cold War's end," responsible for close to 57 percent of the arms trade in 1992. Congressional Research Service, Conventional Arms Transfers to the Third World, 1985-1992 (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, 1993).

  36. John Paul II, "Address to the International Conference on Nutrition," Origins 22:28 (December 24, 1992), 475.

  37. John Paul II, "Address to the Diplomatic Corps," January 16, 1993, Origins 22:34 (February 4, 1993), 587.

  38. Statement of the Cuban Bishops, "Love Hopes All Things," September 8, 1993, Origins 23:16 (September 30, 1993), 273.

  39. United States Catholic Conference, Toward Peace in the Middle East: Perspectives, Principles, and Hopes (Washington, D.C.: USCC Office for Publishing and Promotion Services, 1989).

  40. On Social Concern

    , no. 23.

  41. "Remarks at Welcoming Ceremonies and at Regis College," 188.

  42. The Challenge of Peace

    , no. 333.

  43. On the Hundredth Anniversary of

    Rerum Novarum, no. 52; f.n. 104.

  44. "Address to the Diplomatic Corps," 531.

  45. The Challenge of Peace

    , no. 258.

  46. Ibid., nos. 297-299; Toward Peace in the Middle East, p.43.