Thursday, December 18, 2008

"New Human Rights" at Risk of Becoming "Self-serving Ideologies" Cautions Archbishop

"RENEWING THE AMERICAN DREAM"

Vatican City, Dec 17, 2008 (CNA).- Today an address by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi was published in which he discusses the risks involved while searching for ‘new’ human rights.

The prelate affirms that "when a breach is caused between what is claimed and what is real through the search of so-called 'new' human rights, a risk emerges to reinterpret the accepted human rights vocabulary to promote mere desires and measures that, in turn, become a source of discrimination and injustice and the fruit of self-serving ideologies."

Archbishop Tomasi, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the Office of the United Nations and Specialized Institutions in Geneva, continues his address on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by noting that this anniversary of the Declaration, "leads us also to reflect on its implementation."

"In a world of too many hungry people, too many violent conflicts, too many persons persecuted for their beliefs,” he continues, “there remains a long road to walk and the duty to eliminate every discrimination so that all persons can enjoy their inherent equal dignity."

The prelate then encourages the U.N. and its specialized agencies "to faithfully translate the principles of the Declaration into action by supporting States in the adoption of effective policies truly focused on the rights and sense of responsibility of everyone."

"Every human being,” he went on, "has the right to an integral development and 'the sacred right' to live in peace.” Human rights are not solely the “entitlement to privileges,” but are “rather the expression and the fruit of what is noblest in the human spirit: dignity, aspiration to freedom and justice, search for what is good, and the practice of solidarity.”

“In the light of the tragic experiences of the past and of today,” he concludes, “the human family can unite around these values and essential principles, as a duty toward the weakest and needier and toward future generations."

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