Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has praised Pope John XXIII’s historic encyclical “Pacem in Terris” as “a great thing,” reports the Catholic News Agency.
“I would say what struck me about it was how modern it is and how in tune it is with modern thinking,” Wales said in Rome on Friday.
Wales was in Rome as a guest of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council of Social Sciences. From April 27 to today, the council’s 18th plenary session is exploring the legacy of the 1963 encyclical on global peace, which will mark its 50th anniversary next year. Wales, who is not Catholic, read the papal document for the first time last week.
“I thought I better do my homework,” he explained.
“You have the impression that the Catholic Church is quite old fashioned which it is, of course, in many ways,” said Wales, “but also that some of the thinking (in the encyclical) is quite up-to-date and quite modern, so I think that is a great thing.”
“Pacem in Terris,” whose name means “Peace on Earth,” was published on April 11, 1963. Pope John XXIII wrote it at a time when he knew he was terminally ill, and it is often described as his “last will and testament.” He died two months after its release.
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