Local News Archive
Print Issue: January 1, 1970
Archbishop Joins Pope's Peace Plea
Dearly Beloved in Christ:
In our era of history peace is being sought desperately by many men. Yet it is unlikely that there has ever been another era with so many forces and events militating against peace. Between these two elements is a tension which weighs on the heart of every man who is truly concerned about the future.
Why is there not more progress toward peace? Why have the causes of war: racial strife, hunger, poverty, social injustice not been remedied?
A partial answer may be that we, in our great clamor for peace, have not really understood what is at stake if we do not achieve peace. Our alternatives are the stark realities of a disintegrating life a crippling fear.
Recognizing this situation with its terrible side effects, Pope Paul IV has set aside January 1 as the WORLD DAY OF PEACE. The objectives of this collective observance of a day of prayer for peace are to achieve community alertness among all men of what is at stake in atomic warfare; to create an appreciation of the scandal of underdeveloped countries; to awaken a sensitivity to the pain of racial and social hatred.
Admittedly, one day observed in prayer for peace will not resolve these problems. The American bishops, however, see the observance of this day as an essential component of a whole system of education, reflection, and action which can be pursued throughout the year. In line with this, I ask you to let January 1 be the first day in a period of peace in which we all strive to deepen our longing for that peace which only the Lord gives. It is appropriate that this comes during the Christmas season when we look to the birth of Him who came to give peace. May His peace become a reality in which we live rather than a promise for which we hope. In the words of Saint Paul, May God Our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ send you grace and peace. Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Thomas A. Donnellan
Archbishop of Atlanta