2010-11-04 13:38:13

Holy See Calls for Respect for Faith and Families

(November 4, 2010) The Holy See has strongly stressed the spiritual dimension of human rights, explaining that the “recognition of the dignity of each and every person entails full respect for the inner and transcendent dimension of the human person”. Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, Permanent Observer of the Holy See expressed this while addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations, Wednesday, on the Plenary Report of the Human Rights Council. Not only did he touch on the importance of freedom of conscience, he also linked the expression of conscience to the freedom of religion. Archbishop Chullikatt invoked article 18 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which affirms that “everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance”. He specified that “governments have a solemn responsibility to safeguard... this inalienable right” rather than neglecting it and allowing it to suffer ridicule and religious believers to persecution and drew their attention to the plight of Christians in many parts of the world. The Permanent Observer also addressed the topics of education and marriage. “The institution of marriage,” he said, “is prior to any recognition by public authority, which has an obligation to recognize and protect it”. He continued to describe the family as the natural and fundamental unit of society, pointing out to the responsibility of parents in the education of their children. Archbishop Chullikatt concluded by insisting that “human rights are based on the inherent dignity of the human person, and these inalienable rights are founded in the natural moral order, and they are discernible through right reason which is universal”.

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