Catholic Social Teaching specialist, Fr Bruce Duncan CSsR, will present the July ACI webinar on “John XXIII and Pacem in Terris 1963 – 2023” marking the 60th anniversary of the publication of the encyclical.
He will explore the astonishing parallels between Paul John XXIII trying to defuse the Cold War and Pope Francis’s efforts to end the conflict over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Pope John published Pacem in terris (lit. ’Peace on Earth’) on 11 April 1963 just two months before his death.
The encyclical sets out the rights and obligations of people and their states, as well as proper interstate relations. It emphasises human dignity and human equality in endorsing women’s rights, nuclear nonproliferation and the United Nations.
Coming just six months after six months after the Cuban Missile Crisis and in the middle of the holding of the Catholic Church’s Second Vatican Council, the encyclical made a great impact at the time and has continued to resonate.
Biographer Peter Hebblethwaite characterised it as John’s “last will and testament” while the pope himself described it as his Easter gift following its publication on Holy Thursday 1963.
Bruce Duncan was ordained a Redemptorist priest in 1971. He studied economics and political science at the University of Sydney so he could pursue his deep interest in Social Justice. During this time he was one of the founding editors of National Outlook magazine.
He was a member of the Melbourne Catholic Commission for Justice, Development and Peace (1994-2007), and a consultant with Catholic Social Services Victoria (1998-2007).
Beginning in 1986, he taught at Yarra Theological Union and coordinated the program in social justice studies until his retirement in 2021.
He was also one of the founders of the advocacy organisation, Social Policy Connections, and of the Yarra Institute for Religion and Social Policy.
Tuesday 11 July 2023, 7.30pm AEST