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The Bishop s Conference of Scotland has appointed the Bishop of Aberdeen, Bishop Peter Moran as the new President of the Justice and Peace Commission. Bishop Peter takes over from Bishop John Mone who retired in October. Bishop Moran s first act as President of Justice and Peace has been to write a letter for the day of prayer for Justice and Peace which is celebrated in Scotland on the Feast of the Epiphany (2nd January 2005). Richard McCready, the National Secretary of the Justice and Peace Commission welcomed the new appointment and expressed his hope that the Catholic community in Scotland would take the time to read and reflect on the Bishop s letter.  

Richard McCready said, ˜I welcome the appointment of Bishop Moran as President of the Justice and Peace Commission. I know that he has a great commitment to Catholic Social Teaching and I am looking forward to working with him and the other Bishops to promote justice and peace. I know that Bishop Moran will want to work with the Catholic community in Scotland and with people of good will for action in our three priority areas, asylum and immigration; trade justice and clean drinking water.  

Bishop Moran s letter for the Day of Prayer for Justice and Peace is an inspiration. I hope that it will be widely read and reflected upon. Bishop Moran reminds us of the importance of peace and reminded us to respect the dignity of all human beings. The Pope in his message for the World Day of Prayer for Peace reminds us that all humans share a common bond and that bond requires us to work for peace and justice. I hope and pray that 2005 will see many more people working for justice and for peace and I think that listening to the words of the Pope and of our own Bishop Moran can be an inspiration for everyone to work for justice and peace.  

Notes to editors  

The full text of Bishop Moran s letter is shown below. It is also available on the Justice and Peace website www.justiceandpeacescotland.org.uk along with the full text of the Pope s message for the World Day of Prayer for Peace.  

For further information please contact Richard McCready on 07711 920  
ENDS  

Peter Kearney  
Director  
Catholic Media Office  
5 St. Vincent Place  
Glasgow  
G1 2DH  
0141 221 1168  
pk@scmo.org  
www.scmo.org  

Letter for January 2nd 2005 (Solemnity of the Epiphany): Justice & Peace  
(from Bishop Peter A. Moran on behalf of the Justice & Peace Commission)  

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,  

Let us offer each other the sign of peace.  

We say this at every Mass, just before we go forward to receive Our Lord.  

We turn to those around us, and whether we know them or not, we offer them the sign of peace, and we expect the same in return.  

They may be friends or strangers, they may be like us or very different, but at the sign of peace we are on equal terms.  

Just before we go forward to meet Jesus in Holy Communion, we recognise our neighbour s dignity in God s sight, and the common bond which that creates between us.  

Respecting that common bond makes a moment of peace between us.  

Recognising our neighbour s dignity makes a moment of justice between us.  

If our sign of peace is genuine, we will carry it out of Mass into the world outside.  

We will extend that moment of peace and justice into days and years of justice and peace.  

And if we, and our neighbour, extend that personal attitude of justice and peace into our contacts, into our community and into our country, we can gradually change our world.  

Today we are asked to pray for justice and peace “ but also to work for justice and peace.  

We know the injustices we must put right “ poverty, hunger, disease, discrimination and exclusion, even in our own country. We hear every day about the wars and cruelty which we must try to stop - they make a mockery of peace on earth .  

If we make efforts to recognise the dignity of others, first of acquaintances and then of strangers, first of likeable people and then of those who are harder to like, we will treat them more fairly, with greater justice. If we hunger and thirst for justice on their account, we “ and they “ will have less reason to complain and will be more at peace.  

God will bless such small beginnings, and in his strength we can change our society and change our world. And those of us who are influential people can, and should, do more.  

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice “ they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the peacemakers “ they shall be called children of God .  

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