VATICAN CITY, 25th February, 2023 (WAM) -- Peace without justice is not true peace, it has no solid foundations or possibilities for a future, Pope Francis stressed as he addressed on Saturday judges and magistrates for the opening of the 94th Judicial Year of the Tribunal of the Vatican City State.
According to Vatican News, Pope Francis reflected on the close link between justice and peace.
He referred specifically to the "tragic evolution" of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Indeed, "every commitment to peace implies and requires a commitment to justice" which, said the Pope, "is not an abstraction or a utopia" and "is not only the result of a set of rules to be applied with technical expertise". It is, rather, "the virtue by which we give everyone what they are entitled to", which is "indispensable for the correct functioning of every area of common life and for everyone to lead a peaceful life".
"Justice is a virtue to be cultivated through the commitment of personal conversion, and to be exercised together with the other cardinal virtues of prudence, fortitude and temperance."
Pope Francis went on to highlight that the Tribunals of the Vatican City State operate in this perspective, "playing a precious role to the benefit of the Holy See" in settling civil and criminal cases.
He referred in particular the to the financial criminal trials conducted in recent years against Vatican officials. In this regard the Pope remarked that what should be of concern are not so much the trials per se, but the investigated facts and criminal misconduct by members of the Church, which, he said, "have seriously harmed its effectiveness in reflecting the light of God."
Bringing his remarks to a close, Pope Francis dwelled on the importance for Vatican Justice "to find a balance between justice and mercy" when ascertaining cases of misconduct "that obscure the face of the Church" and cause scandal.
The Pope suggested that "the exercise of rigorous discernment", as well as the "prudent recourse to the canon of equity", can help reach this balance.
He said, "Mercy and justice are not alternative, but walk together towards the same goal, because mercy is not the suspension of justice, but its fulfilment."
Attending the inauguration were also Italian Minister of Justice Carlo Nordio and the Under-Secretary to the Prime Minister Alfredo Mantovano, along with several representatives of the highest judicial bodies of the Italian state.