Archbishop Renato Martino, president of the
Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said: "The
crisis situation of the U.N., caused by the war in Iraq,
does not contradict but reinforces the appeal in 'Pacem
in Terris' for a world political authority."
He made his comments when addressing a meeting that
commemorated the 40th anniversary of the publication of
Pope John XXIII's encyclical on peace.
The meeting, held at the Lateran University, was
moderated by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary
Archbishop Martino believes that "the common good is
a qualitative moral concept that calls for an
appropriate world political authority."
However, he clarified that "the U.N. is not a
super-state or a super-court; rather, its essence lies
in the participatory process of construction of this
Quoting a 1965 address of Pope Paul VI, Archbishop
Martino explained that the United Nations "is the
obligatory path for modern civilization and world
The archbishop, who for 16 years was the permanent
observer of the Vatican to the United Nations, explained
that "it is time to undertake a constitutional
engineering of humanity so that the United Nations can
carry out its irreplaceable role."
To achieve this objective, "it is necessary to favor
multilateralism, not only at the diplomatic level, but
also in the area of development plans," he said.
This requires "the desired revision of the very
structure of the United Nations, so that all the member
states will find sufficient guarantees of respect for
their interests and -- as 'Pacem in Terris' underlines
-- of respect of the principle of the dignity of all
nations and peoples," he added.
It should be a "subsidiary world authority" to
guarantee "a manner of world government that favors
Archbishop Martino concluded by explaining that "the
weakening of international organizations might imply a
weakening of the consciousness of being one single