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  • » 04/30/2008, 00.00

    VATICAN

    Justice is the basis of peace and respect for human rights, says Pope



    In today’s general audience Benedict XVI refers to his visit to the United States. He reiterates the Church’s commitment to an international order based on the principle of responsibility and solidarity. He mentions the United States’ “healthy secularism”, saying that “religious freedom must always be defended, avoiding all forms of discrimination and prejudice”.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The dignity of every human being created by God in his image and likeness is the ultimate foundation for the respect of human rights which like peace “are based on justice and the famous principle ‘Do not do unto others as you would expect they should not do unto you.” It is to the principle of responsibility and solidarity in international relations which the Church promotes that Benedict XVI referred to at the United Nations on 18 April and which he mentioned and “renewed” today.

    The Pope talked about his apostolic trip to the United States and his visit to the United Nations in his address to the 30,000 people who had gathered in St Peter’s Square for the general audience, which was enlivened by the sounds of a musical band from Germany, two from Italy, and one, much appreciated, from Mexico.

    In going over the events of the trip, the Pope talked about his meeting with US President George W. Bush on 16 April as an opportunity to “pay tribute to that great country” which he called “a valid example of healthy secularism where the religious dimension in the diversity of its experiences is not only tolerated but valued as the soul of the nation and the fundamental guarantee of the rights and duties of man.”

    In that context the Church can devote itself to the work of evangelisation and of human promotion but also act “as a critical conscience, contributing to the building of a society worthy of human beings, pushing a country like the United States, that all view as one of the main players on the international scene, in the direction of global solidarity, increasingly necessary and urgent, and of the patient practice of dialogue in international relations.”

    In his meeting US bishops and priests the Pope offered support “for their tough task of sowing the seeds of the Gospel in a society marked by many contradictions that threaten the coherence of the Catholic community and clergy.” In doing so he again defended the family and the sacrament of marriage “within the natural framework in which children can be welcomed and educated”. He also stressed the importance of a sound education for young people.

    On this issue the Pope spoke of the “challenge” posed by education, something “which is a task and an integral part of the Church’s mission”, further noting that Catholic institutions have to teach how “to bring together faith, reason, freedom and truth.”

    In talking to the bishops, he said today, he raised the ‘painful issue of sexual abuse of minors by ordained ministers”. I told the bishops to tend the wounds and take care of the relations with the priests.

    The inter-faith meetings, especially the one in the New York synagogue, were “very cordial moments’ of “shared commitment to dialogue and the promotion of peace and spiritual values”.

    These moments gave the Pope the opportunity to stress that “religious freedom must always be defended, avoiding all forms of discrimination and prejudice”, something which also highlights the ‘responsibility of religious leaders.”

    As for his speech at the United Nations on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Pope said that ‘its main goal’ was to confirm the declaration’s value, “underscoring its universal foundation, which is the dignity of every human being created by God in his image and likeness in order to cooperate in the great design of life and peace.”

    Indeed “like peace, the respect for human rights is based on justice, that is on an ethical order valid for al times and all peoples that is best encapsulated by the famous principle ‘Do not do unto others as you would expect they should not do unto you” or, in positive terms, “Do unto others as you would expect they should do unto you”.

    The Pope’s last thought went to the “silence of the chasm of Ground Zero,” where he prayed “for all the victims of that terrible tragedy.”

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    See also

    08/04/2008 VATICAN
    Pope to “share” Christian hope in his visit to the United Nations and United States
    In a video-message to US Catholics Benedict XVI talks about his upcoming trip. Humanity hopes in a future with peace, justice and freedom, but “this hope can never be fulfilled without obedience to the law of God.”

    17/04/2008 VATICAN – UNITED STATES
    The world needs people bearing witness and Catholic culture, says Pope
    In his first public Mass in the United States Benedict XVI speaks about the “pain” caused to the Church by pedophile priests. With President Bush yesterday he jointly expressed concern for the Middle East, especially Iraq and Lebanon, and hope for an end to the Israel-Palestinian conflict with a two-state solution. The Vatican also refers to the need to respect human rights in the fight against terrorism.

    18/04/2008 VATICAN – UNITED NATIONS
    Human rights are the measure of the common good for states and nations, says Pope
    In his speech to the United Nations Pope Benedict XVI stressed the ethical, hence universal, foundation of human rights. Freedom of religion is one such right and no government can force people to “deny God in order to enjoy” their rights.

    16/04/2008 VATICAN – UNITED STATES
    For Pope a “moral order based on the dominion of God” is the basis of freedom and human rights
    During his visit to the White House Benedict XVI talks to President Bush about the central themes of his US visit. Referring to his upcoming visit to the United Nations, he said the “the need for global solidarity is as urgent as ever, if all people are to live in a way worthy of their dignity—as brothers and sisters dwelling in the same house”.

    09/04/2008 VATICAN
    Pope: the humanism of Saint Benedict, antidote to the culture of the ego
    Illustrating the figure of the founder of Western monasticism, the pope says that in order to regain its unity following two world wars and the collapse of ideologies, Europe needs the religious and moral teaching that emerges from its Christian roots.



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