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This sense of irreversibility of history – the river of history flows on implacably through meanders that are sometimes painful towards the estuary of peace, unity and the exaltation of peoples – is the main point, the star that must guide the politics of States in this final atomic, spatial, ecological, demographic phase of the world

La Pira’s approach to working for peace was essentially to get involved in the history of mankind as a function of the sacred story. In a certain sense it was not (or at least not only) a question of taking an ethical stance against the violence of war but rather a reflection – which became more profound over the years – on the inadequacy of war to solve the problems of this day and age that arise from the inevitable tensions in relations between men and nations.

This is why, when Pope John XXIII wrote in “Pacem in Terris” …alienum est a ratione bellum iam aptum esse ad violata iura sarcienda [it is almost impossible to think …that war can still be used as a tool for justice], La Pira felt that his belief was being vindicated that anyone who believes in peace and work is not a utopian but rather dramatically utopian is he who obstinately believes that radically new problems can be solved by irremediably old means.

He phased his initiatives, beginning with Congresses for Peace and Christian Civilisation , but above all in his speech to the International Committee of the Red Cross  and the Conference of Mayors that followed.

His initiatives for peace were a marked feature of his tenure as mayor  then as President of the United Cities.

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§ Unity in the world and among churches

§ The atomic danger

§ Détente in Europe

§ North-South relations and decolonisation

§ Middle-East

§ Viet Nam