There is a common subject underlying the two parts of this paragraph: the social responsability we have to the existing generations who "haven't asked to exist" nor could do anything about coming into life. The first paragraph contemplates those who are responsible for procreation and to what degree. Then the second paragraph addresses the responsibility of helping to them to grow, as human beings are born the most helpless of the animals.

The third one then points out the need for the "recognition and respect of dignity and rights...for more than half of society members...and families: women, children, the elderly and other marginalized groups".


Many times new human beings who begin life are treated, perhaps unconsciously, as "intruders" or "invaders" who "come" to be part and share in a world which they have not contributed to. Perhaps, people think that the children "have decided to come". Sometimes they look at them as a burden, a moral-religious duty to be accepted maybe in compensation for the enjoyment of marriage. Many sociologists assert that a great deal of problems that so many children in developed countries suffer from are due to their parents' lack of freedom or lack of education or perhaps to the lack of responsibility.


First of all, no one "has asked to exist". As I have already said, no one has been able to do anything to achieve being born because they didn't exist previous to conception. Secondly, no one can be forced to conceive if they don't want to. Not even God for believers, because God created human beings with freedom. To force him would be contradicting himself. So, conceiving a new human being is the responsibility of the existing adults and youth.

Parents are not just a "green traffic light" who "allow" this person to come in the world. No. Their responsibility is different and greater. This human being -possible of being conceived but not obligated to come into being- doesn't exist yet. Parents are the only possibility for this unique person to come into being because a distinct person would be born from another woman and another man. The parents' responsibility is to bring a new being into existence. Otherwise, they wouldn't exist at all.


Parents are not alone with these maternal or paternal responsibilities. Neither will all of them be able to do them well. Society, by creating a proper social atmosphere, culture or economy helps large families...have also co-responsibility in each conception. So, this paragraph of the Letter of Peace says that parents "with the solidarious help of society" should provide for their offspring. It is usually thought that parents and society are responsible for children until they have reached the legal age of majority. However, nowadays there are cases -illness, drugs, etc. and situations -unemployment, war, refugees, among others- that can extend this period of responsibility "until their children's death".

What is the best thing to do for young people? "Foremost, to leave them a more peaceful world as an inheritance." How can a person dare to give birth to someone if they don't contribute to peace, development, solidarity, etc.? What kind of world do they invite this new being to live in? If parent and society are not happy to exist, if they are not happy the way they are, if they are not happy living in this world even its limits, what kind of right do they use to bring into existence new beings to this world which is disliked by them?

On the other hand, this is not a question of leading the young to passiveness and laziness but a question of "motivating and inspiring order for them to be able to contribute to a more peaceful world".

The third part of this paragraph is obvious, although what it says it is still not lived with the minimum amount of dignity everywhere. Think, for instance, in women. By the way, tomorrow is "International Women's Day". Even if it is obvious, however, someone could question that some instances of marginated people are not a question of responsibility. Rather, they are in a marginal situation because of their behavior and freedom. To this remark I would answer: even though some people, during their lives, have not made good use of their freedom and are now ill, etc., however, they always fully possess their human dignity because they exist. Moreover, who can assert that they, someday won't be ill and in need of help, in part because of their own responsibility (think, for instance, about car accidents and other reasons)?