It is so sad to witness again and again such brutal ends of so many innocent lives such as what happened in Paris recently. As we, Catholics, believe that human life is the most precious gift from God, we do not agree with any justification on the cause of such violent attacks over human life.
As Holy Father said, "there is no religious or human justification for it. This is not human" Well, retaliation by violence against violence may produce a kind of solution. However this solution would be only for short term or temporary. Of course, in order to execute huge violence such as the recent Paris terrorist attacks, financial resources, organisational structure and man-power are indispensable. Therefore as long as retaliation by force could minimise such resources, then violence attacks might be ceased. But that would be a kind of supportive measures and could not touch the real cause of violence. Real cause of such brutal violence exists in our hearts, in our emotions. Armed power cannot control emotional hatred rooted deep in our hearts.
I hope this sad incident in Paris would not increase our hatred against specific group of people, or not make general public to vow to retaliate with violence, but to make people realise that taking away human life in any case with any reason is against will of our God , creator of all who granted us with this precious gift of human life.
During the Justice and Peace National Convention in Tokyo in September, I had an opportunity to share my thoughts on Peace together with Bishop Katsuya of Sapporo who is in charge of the commission for Justice and Peace. During the talk, I mentioned that the Integral Human Development is the key for establishing real Peace, and thus Caritas activities is, in fact, action for Peace. Of course I mean Peace in a meaning specified in the VatII's Gaudium st Spes as follows.
"Peace is not merely the absence of war; nor can it be reduced solely to the maintenance of a balance of power between enemies; nor is it brought about by dictatorship. Instead, it is rightly and appropriately called an enterprise of justice. Peace results from that order structured into human society by its divine Founder, and actualized by men as they thirst after ever greater justice" (78)
(Photo below: During the national convention of Justice and Peace in Tokyo Cathedral in September. From right to left, Bp.Katsuya, Bp.Matsuura and myself)
In order to realise the "order structured into human society by its divine Founder", Pope John XXIII pointed out that number of basic human rights have to be respected and realised in the society. (Pacem in Terris) And that is the base of my point that integral human development is the must for real peace. Meaning of integral human development here is not restricted to common meaning or usage in development as such. Pope John Paul II once wrote in the Centesimus Annus" 29 as follows.
"Development must not be understood solely in economic terms, but in a way that is fully human. It is not only a question of raising all peoples to the level currently enjoyed by the richest countries, but rather of building up a more decent life through united labour, of concretely enhancing every individual's dignity and creativity, as well as his capacity to respond to his personal vocation, and thus to God's call."
I hope we have courage to face reality to stop these vicious circle of violence not by violent retaliation but by real process of creating Peace through integral human development. Unfortunately recent political initiatives by ruling Liberal Democratic Party in Japan for shifting the national security policy from passive defence to more active defense, which the prime minister named as proactive contiribution for peace, may not actually contribute to stop these vicous circle of violence.