600 Words Please review attached document and add a 600 word reflection of the document and the relevance of the main topic to today’s society. Pacem in Te

600 Words Please review attached document and add a 600 word reflection of the document and the relevance of the main topic to today’s society. Pacem in Te

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 Please review attached document and add a 600 word reflection of the document and the relevance of the main topic to today’s society.  

Pacem in Terris, by Pope John XXIII

In his encyclical Pacem in Terris, Pope John XXIII emphasizes on the ordering of natural
law. He acknowledges that certain rights and duties are innate and available to anyone. These
rights and duties are given by nature and then maintained by human instinct and reason. Reason
that is God given and grants humans the ability to discover the order of nature, God created for
the world. Pope John XXIII highlights this in the introduction of his encyclical, “But the Creator
of the world has imprinted in man’s heart an order which his conscience reveals to him and
enjoins him to obey.”(PT no.5). After humans use their conscience to learn what the order of
nature God created is, they then must actively live by this order. According to Pope John XXIII,
following the natural law derived from the God created order of nature, is not all that is needed
to achieve peace. Humans are inherently social by nature, therefore they must maintain order in
relationships emphasized by God’s teachings as well to achieve peace.

Pacem in Terris was a papal encyclical which depicts that individuals and states have
their rights and obligations as they exist in the world. Pacem in Terris was one of the first
documents in the Catholic world to provide teachings which mainly focused on human rights.
There are a total of four chapters written in this encyclical – Chapter 1 entitled Order in the
Universe, Chapter 2 entitled Relations Between Individuals and the Public Authority, Chapter 3
entitled Relations between States, Chapter 4 entitled Relationship of Men and of Political
Communities with the World Community.

In Chapter 1, Order between Men, Pope John XXIII has conveyed a message that every
human being has several rights and obligations as they exist in this unpredictable world.
According to Pope John XXIII, it is true for every human being that “his is a nature, that is,
endowed with intelligence and free will. As such he has rights and duties, which together flow as
a direct consequence from his nature” (PT no. 9). It has taught us that we should be all equal and
fair with one another. All must have the rights to moral and cultural values; rights to worship
God according to one’s conscience; rights to freely choose one’s state in life; rights to economic
opportunities; rights of meeting and association;rights to emigrate and immigrate; and rights to
take an active part in public life or politics. With all of these rights, we, people, must still be
responsible as a person; we have the freedom to have our rights be respected, however, we
should not forget our duties and responsibilities.

In connection to this, natural rights are bounded with several duties which means that
they always come together. For instance, a person has the right to live and in order to live, one
has the duty to preserve and take care of his or her own life. Through the natural rights, it gives
rise to a corresponding duty in another man, which is a duty of recognizing and respecting that
corresponding right. Moreover, for a society to be considered as well-ordered, creative and
consonant with human dignity, it must be first based with nothing but the truth. Thus, truth will
be the foundation of all; and that truth is our Almighty God. He is the first truth: the reason why
people exist.

As for the next chapter, Relations between Individuals and the Public Authorities
contains a passage wherein a well-ordered or prosperous society cannot be achieved without the
help of the legal authorities. The individuals and public authorities must be well-connected and
do all the means to maintain the orderliness and prosperous society, “the chief concern of civil
authorities must therefore be to ensure that these rights are recognized, respected, co-ordinated,
defended and promoted, and that each individual is enabled to perform his duties more easily (PT

no. 60).” It is stated that authority comes from God, however, it does not mean that men have no
ability to choose the right ones. We, the people, have the power to choose who will be ruling our
country. We have the right to vote because we are in a democratic form of government and it is
our freedom to choose who will be the ruler. Nevertheless, it is the men’s duty to elect the right
and deserving one.

Furthermore, men are necessary to provide their own contributions to the general welfare,
as both individuals and intermediate groups. They must make use of their own interests, and be
useful for the needs of others. They could offer goods and services. The nature of the common
good is that each citizen should have their share or contribution in it. Their contribution in
different ways because it depends on his tasks, merits, and circumstances. The only important
aspect is that everyone has their own contribution to promote the common good in the interest of
everyone. In connection to that, when personal rights and duties are assured, the common good
is protected and well-preserved.

Moving forward, for the third chapter, Relations between States is all about the
negotiation and bond to other states. It is the men’s belief that any presence of disputes must be
resolved through good negotiation and agreements; declaration of war is not the solution. Thus,
violence must be avoided as much as possible. The chapter’s main message is to have the
boundaries diluted and nations should unite as one in the future, “we must bear in mind that of its
very nature civil authority exists, not to confine men within the frontiers of their own nations, but
primarily to protect the common good of the State, which certainly cannot be divorced from the
common good of the entire human family (PT no. 98).” Love should be the universal dominant
feeling between relationships of individuals and nations. Love should allow us to bond and clear
all the conflicts that arose before. It was our beloved Pope John XXIII’s longing for every nation
to be sincerely united; through that countless blessings from God can be delivered to us. Pope
John XXIII declares “we are hopeful that, by establishing contact with one another and by a
policy of negotiation, nations will come to a better recognition of the natural ties that bind them
together as men (PT no. 129).” States should use negotiations instead of war because this social
act reminds us of our common natural rights as men. Citizens will definitely feel safe and free if
the union of all nations happens and the looming what if about war is replaced.

Now, for the last chapter, Relationship of Men and of Political Communities with the
World Community, Pope John XXIII wants to deliver a message that no State can suitably pursue
its own interest by their own will, just like other States that cannot develop itself as what it
should be. National economies are moderately becoming a country that is interdependent.
Nations are supposed to be lifting each other, for no one will ever succeed in destroying the unity
of the human family. With the previous rulers of States, through the normal diplomatic channels,
or by top-level meetings and discussions, and agreements, it seems like they have been able to
make adequate provisions for the general common good. Due to not being sufficiently influential
authority, it looks like all the nations of the world are experiencing task inequality in promoting
the common good to all individuals.

In modern development, clear evidence of the farsightedness of the United Nations
Organization (U.N) is presented by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The declaration
which affirms that the genuine recognition and complete observance of all the rights and
freedoms is an objective that is supposed to be sought by all citizens and every nation. There has
been a point wherein the declaration failed with some approvals in a few quarters. However, the
document must be considered a step to be in the right path again. The intention of the fourth
chapter is to deliver a message to the United Nations Organizations for them to progressively

adapt its structure and methodologies to the highest point of their tasks. “May the day be not long
delayed when every human being can find in this organization an effective safeguard of his
personal rights; those rights, that is, which derive directly from his dignity as a human person,
and which are therefore universal, inviolable and inalienable” (PT no. 145), Pope John XXIII
was in hope that every individual can find an effective safety of their personal rights in the said
organization. This “safety net” for personal rights helps humans to achieve peace and harmony
with one another.

To sum all of the chapters, Pacem in Terris is mainly all about the rights and obligations
of individuals, states, and between the two (individuals and states). Its main point is that peace
between everyone should always be based on truth, justice, love and freedom. It is not just
written for the Catholics but for all men of good will. It clearly says that peace must always be
on Earth. Pacem in Terris is an encyclical of freedom and peace. It indeed brings peace on the
Earth just by reading it. It has brought englighten to my mind that peace can still be achieved in
time. The purpose of Pope John XXIII’s encyclical was to help us in overcoming the violence in
the whole world.

Upon reading the papal encyclical, Pacem in Terris, I suddenly felt like there is still
some hope in having the nations to be united at some point. I have realized that what Pope John
XXIII said was true. Love is all we need to clear all the boundaries that have been stopping
every individual and nation from becoming as one. We need the support of each other to grow
more as a nation. Rulers should be using their critical thinking in resolving conflicts and matters
instead of pointing guns to each other. As the technology upgraded, the methods of resolving
matters should be upgraded too, Violence is not always the answer. Speaking what’s on your
mind and solving the issue calmly is a better and smart way of fixing matters. For a union of all
nations to happen, citizens must also contribute to it. In addition, as for the introduction of the
circular paper which is all about the rights of citizens, I strongly agree with his idea that
everyone should be equal and fair to one another. Every individual has these rights right before
they came to the world. Everyone’s right should be recognized and respected; It is part of the
people’s freedom. And if everyone has their rights, it comes with several responsibilities that will
help them to become a moral person. Everyone should be responsible with the actions they take.
We must all remember that we are always liable for every consequence that may occur due to our
actions. We have our rights but there’s always a limitation in everything. Lastly, in order to
achieve a well-orderly and prosperous nation, everything must always be based on nothing but
the truth, as our Almighty God is the first truth. Let us not turn a blind eye with the happenings
in our surroundings, and remember the famous quotation, truth will set you free. Nothing but

Overall, I am inclined to believe that the Pacem in Terris is an eye-opener for us to
achieve peace in the world we are living in, not just for the Catholics but for everyone who is
going to read it. Before I put an end to this essay, I just wanna leave a message for the people
who are going to read this paper. You have your rights as a human being and you can exercise
those as much as you want. As long as you’re not hurting or harming another individual, you are
all good. You are born with those rights and you have the freedom to do what you want,
however, you should know your restrictions and the consequences that you may face for being
aggressive in taking some actions. Be a diligent citizen, you may not know but you are already
being a factor of achieving the peace on our Earth.

Works Cited

O’Brien, David J., and Thomas A. Shannon. Renewing the Earth: Catholic Documents on Peace,
Justice, and Liberation. Image Books, 1977.

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