This year marks the 50th anniversary of the encyclical letter Mater et Magistra of Blessed John XXIII. The encyclical focused for the first time on the problem of social inequalities, with particular reference to the international situation of the time, and the need for a response in light of the demands of justice and fairness. Given the subjects discussed, the document received wide attention even outside the Catholic Church. To mark this important anniversary the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace held an international meeting last May on the themes of justice and globalization. The encyclical and its teachings are still very important today. Meeting with participants attending that meeting, Pope Benedict XVI noted that the encyclical Mater et Magistra is "a document that is still very timely even in this globalized world".