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Why was the German Commission founded?

In 1967 Pope Paul VI wrote his encyclical 'Populorum Progressio' which attracted considerable attention at that time. lt discussed the world-wide economic and social injustices and the gap between the rich North and the poor South. The Pope also described the correlation between peace and a fully-rounded development towards greater humanity: 'Development is the new name for peace'. At the same time, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace was founded in Rome, encouraging the foundation of Commissions for Justice and Peace all over the world. In the Federal Republic of Germany this was realised already in 1967 by establishing Katholischer Arbeitskreis für Entwicklung und Frieden/KAEF (Catholic Council for Development and Peace). Following world-wide practice, this name was changed to Deutsche Kommission ]ustitia et Pax in 1982. The Berlin Bishops' Conference, responsible for the area of GDR, founded a Commission for Justice and Peace in 1978. This Commission made considerable contributions to the political activation of the East German civil society. In 1991 both Commissions were brought together as a consequence of the German reunification.

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