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Life in Christ

555

2304

Respect for and development of human life require peace.

Peace is not merely the absence of war, and it is not limited to

maintaining a balance of powers between adversaries. Peace can­

not be attained on earth without safeguarding the goods of per­

sons, free communication among men, respect for the dignity of

persons and peoples, and the assiduous practice of fraternity. Peace

is “the tranquillity of order.”

98

Peace is the work of justice and the

effect of charity.

99

2305

Earthly peace is the image and fruit of the peace of Christ,

the messianic “Prince of Peace.”

100

By the blood of his Cross, “in

his own person he killed the hostility,”

101

he reconciled men with

God and made his Church the sacrament of the unity of the human

race and of its union with God. “He is our peace.”

102

He has

declared: “Blessed are the peacemakers.”

103

2306

Those who renounce violence and bloodshed and, in order

to safeguard human rights, make use of those means of defense

available to the weakest, bear witness to evangelical charity, pro­

vided they do so without harming the rights and obligations of

other men and societies. They bear legitimate witness to the gravity

of the physical and moral risks of recourse to violence, with all its

destruction and death.

104

Avoiding war

2307

The fifth commandment forbids the intentional destruc­

tion of human life. Because of the evils and injustices that accom­

pany all war, the Church insistently urges everyone to prayer and

to action so that the divine Goodness may free us from the ancient

bondage of war.

105

2308

All citizens and all governments are obliged to work for

the avoidance of war.

98 St. Augustine,

De civ. Dei,

19, 13, 1: PL 41, 640.

99 Cf.

Isa

32:17; cf.

GS

78 §§ 1-2.

100

Isa

9:5.

101

Eph

2:16 J.B.; cf.

Col

1:20-22.

102

Eph

2:14.

103

Mt

5:9.

104 Cf.

GS

78 § 5.

105 Cf.

GS

81 § 4.

1909

1807

1468

2267