Pacem in Terris influences Japanese society

Bishop Okada said the encyclical’s relevance came at a time when Japanese society was debating a proposed change in Article 9 of the Constitution, which forbids an offensive army.

Japan
Oct 15 2013, 11:30 AM
Pacem in Terris influences Japanese society
Archbishop Peter Takeo Okada

Fifty years after its publication, Pope John XXIII’s encyclical, Pacem in Terris, is experiencing a ‘second childhood’ in Japan. “The encyclical sends a strong message to modern society. It’s considered a cornerstone to build peace in the world and is a starting point for useful reflection in the Year of Faith,” said Tokyo Archbishop Peter Takeo Okada in a recent note to Agenzia Fides.

“The encyclical teaches that peace can only be achieved when a society allows each person to live their life to the full, in a fully human way. This truth questions the development model of any modern country, including Japan,” he said.

Bishop Okada said the encyclical’s relevance comes at a time when Japanese society was debating a proposed change in Article 9 of the Constitution, which forbids an offensive army.

The bishop said that Article 9 was a treasure that reflected the teachings of Jesus Christ about love. Thanks to it, Japan has never killed anyone during war and no Japanese citizen lost life in a conflict. “It is our fundamental responsibility to protect this article and do everything possible to preserve it,” he added.

Source: Agenzia Fides

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