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From the Zenit News Service

Justice and Peace aspects of the new papal bull of indiction for the upcoming Jubilee Year 2000.

Purification of Memory

Next, the Pope analyzes the most unique novelties of the jubilee of the

third millennium, among which is found, first, the "purification of

memory." Living at the end of two thousand years since the coming of Christ,

the Pope asks each and all Christians to make a "profound examination of

conscience," as it is "one of the most decisive moments of a person's

existence. In fact, this exercise places man before the truth of his own

life, thus realizing the distance which separates his actions from his

proposed ideal."

Although the history of the Church is a history of holiness, "because of the

link which unites each and all in the Mystical Body, though not personally

responsible or avoiding God's judgement -- who alone understands the human

heart --, we are carriers of the weight of the errors and guilt of those who

have preceded us. Moreover, we -- children of the Church --, have also

sinned, impeding the face of the Spouse of Christ to shine in all its

beauty." Consequently, Peter's successor asks "that in this year of mercy

the Church, convinced of the holiness she receives from the Lord, prostrate

herself before God and implore pardon for the past and present sins of her

children."

The Pope's words are clear: he requests Christians to do this "without

asking anything in return" and he is convinced that there will not be a lack

of fair-minded persons who will acknowledge that in the history of the past

and of the present there have been, and there continue to be, cases of

isolation, injustice and persecution involving the children of the Church."

Charity and Social Justice

Another aspect of the Jubilee, on which John Paul II will leave his mark, is

the social dimension, akin to that found in biblical tradition. "Humankind

is faced with new and more subtle forms of slavery than those known in the

past, and liberty continues to be a word empty of meaning for too many

persons. Many nations, especially the poorest, are oppressed by a debt which

is so large that payment is virtually impossible. It is also clear that no

real progress can be made without the effective cooperation among peoples of

different languages, races, nationalities and religions. There must be no

more trampling of the weak by the strong: such actions are sinful and

unjust." In effect, the bull invites each person of good will to revise his

commitment and responsibility to others at all levels.