The bishops in India have asked Catholics across the nation to observe the Sunday after Independence Day as "Justice Sunday," reminding their role to work for justice and peace.
The Office for Justice, Peace and Development of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India has circulated a message among all the dioceses in India to help Catholics meaningfully on Aug. 18, said an official release.
The theme of this year’s Justice Sunday--Peace on Earth in Justice--has been selected as a tribute to Pacem in Terris, the 1963 encyclical of Pope John XXIII that completed 50 years on April 11 this year.
The bishops' office wants Catholics to be inspired by the encyclical's guiding principles, which envisioned a new world order built on the pillars of truth, justice, love and freedom, said the press release from Father Charles Irudayam, secretary of the office.
The encyclical "recommends a new spirituality and a culture of peace" and its recipe for peace is "very simple: recognition of human dignity as well as respect for the rights of every person in all human relationships,"
The encyclical holds that human rights “are the expression of a man's personal dignity” and recommends negotiations and dialogue to settle all disputes between or among nations.
It also cautions the world against ‘the appalling slaughter and destruction that war would bring in its wake’ and advocates ‘cessation of arms race."
The stance against arms race "gains a special significance" as India being the largest importer of arms in the world, is one of the 24 countries that abstained from the UN Arms Trade Treaty a few months ago, the release said.
Since 1983, Indian Church has been observing Justice Sunday on a Sunday following the Independence Day and this year it completes 30th observance.
The CBCI records show the observance was aimed “to make individuals and institutions sensitive to the realities of society and to respond to the demands of justice,” said the release.
Source: CBCI press release
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