MESSAGE OF JOHN PAUL II
To Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino
On the occasion of the meeting organized by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace on the theme: "The economic and social development of Africa in the age of globalization", I address an affectionate greeting to all the participants. Numerous hotbeds of violence are bathing Africa in blood, besides which AIDS and other pandemics, tragic poverty and injustice still threaten the continent's future. Their negative consequences sign away the development of solidarity in Africa and the establishment of lasting peace in a just, equitable society. The continent is in urgent need of peace, justice and reconciliation as well as the assistance of the industrialized countries, called to sustain the continent's development so that the African peoples may truly be the active subjects and protagonists of their own future. It is important, therefore, to train the young generations for their future responsibilities since they will be entrusted with society's organization. May the international community contribute with determination and generosity to promoting a society of justice and peace on the African continent! Catholic communities across the world are asked to support their brothers and sisters in Africa to enable them to lead a more human and fraternal life. As I entrust all the participants at this meeting to the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Africa, I impart a special Apostolic Blessing to them all.
From the Vatican, 21 May 2004
JOHN PAUL II