| A THOUSAND JUDGES CELEBRATE JUBILEE WITH POPE
Justice Cannot Oppose Natural Law
VATICAN CITY, MAR 31 (ZENIT.org).- Today, 1,000 Italian judges celebrated their
special Jubilee with John Paul II. During his meeting with this singular group, the
Pontiff addressed several major topics, which at present pose serious questions to
the world of justice and society in general.
John Paul II said that a "state of law and a democracy worthy of this name are
classified not only for the efficient structuring of their legislation but, above all, for
being rooted in concern for the common good and universal moral principles written
by God in the heart of every human being."
The Pope insisted, on one hand, on the necessary independence that judges must
have to carry out their work and, on the other, explained that this "independence of
the magistrates must never be exercised with indifference to the values rooted in
the nature of the human being, whose inalienable dignity and transcendent destiny
must always be respected."
During his address, the Pope condemned the techniques of some judges who impose the arrest of persons in order to "obtain important information for the
prosecution"; and appealed to justice that every effort be made to insure that trials
take place at indicated times, because when they are prolonged in an intolerable
way, they end up being "a real injustice." This is a chronic problem in Italian justice.
The Holy Father also referred to the necessary reserve that magistrates must
exercise with the media in order to insure respect for the principle of the presumed
innocence of alleged culprits.
The Pope asked the judges not to supplant Parliament in its functions, especially
"when the life and death of a human being, bio-technologies, problems affecting
public morality, or topics essential to liberty are in question. These cannot
degenerate in individualism that disregards the common good."