Holy See on Religious Freedom in the Global Village
"In Many Ways Still a Distant Goal"
GENEVA, SEPT. 29, 2006 (Zenit) - Here is the address delivered Sept. 21 to the Human Rights Council by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See's permanent observer to the U.N. office in Geneva.
* * *
Thank you for the time allotted to discuss the issues of religious tolerance and freedom, topics that certainly require careful and extended reflection in the years ahead. For now it can suffice to note that where there is doubt, the best interpreter of a text is its author. The Holy Father Benedict XVI has explained what he meant. It is mere fairness to take him [at] his words.
1. Twenty five years ago, the international community adopted by consensus the important Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief.
2. Today the implementation of this declaration remains in many ways still a distant goal, a work in progress requiring concerted action to promote the standards of religious freedom recognized by the international community. In several countries intolerance and violent acts directed in particular at people and communities of different religions violate their rights in a variety of ways.
3. The delegation of the Holy See observes that legal structures have not everywhere sufficiently evolved to protect religious minorities and their members, even when they are citizens of the countries concerned.
4. The rapid impact of the information and communication technologies gives new meaning to the global village beyond its economic networks. A plurality of ideas and cultures are brought closer and are mingled even in remote corners of the world, and the vast movements of migrants make them visible and concrete in daily life. What emerges is either a potential for fears and conflicts, or a new phase of mutual enrichment and respect that afford the opportunity to convey the contributions of all to more justice and a stable peace.
An attitude of openness and mutual acceptance is therefore more urgent than any law tending to impose them, the education of the heart and the mind to recognize and value each person as an equal member of the human family. Communication media and textbooks should contribute in this effort and not stir up emotions with ambiguous or false messages that foster intolerance and close the minds to a future of conviviality.
5. To build such a future, a deeper understanding is needed: 1) of the fundamental role and contribution of religion in the lives of individuals and communities; 2) of the differences among religions so that an honest and fruitful dialogue may take place; 3) of current geopolitics since regional and religious identities do not necessarily coincide, and this calls for a correction of perceptions.
6. Religion and the reason for religious tolerance are rooted in the person, believer or not. Focusing on ideologies rather than on people and communities of believers carries the risk of transforming religious claims into political self-interest.
7. In conclusion, allow me to use the words of Pope Benedict XVI to representatives of Muslim communities last year: "The lessons of the past must help us to avoid repeating the same mistakes. We must seek paths of reconciliation and learn to live with respect for each other's identities. The defense of religious freedom, in this sense, is a permanent imperative."
Thank you, Mr. President.
--- --- ---
1 The dignity and equality inherent in all human beings, a basic principle of the Charter of the United Nations, were seen as fundamentally violated when the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion a person held and exercised "either individually or in community with others and in public or in private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching" (art. I, 1) is disregarded.
2 Apostolic trip of Benedict XVI to Cologne, Germany, on the occasion of the 20th World Youth Day (Aug. 18-21, 2005) -- audience to the representatives of Muslim communities.
[Original text: English; adapted]
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Freedom, Religion, Human, Rights
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Australia asks Church to end celibacy and confession to fight child ...
- Commission recommends Church end priestly celibacy and confession to ...
- Indonesia rejects law that would criminalize sex outside of marriage
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, December 19th, 2017 HD Video
- St. Olympias: Saint of the Day for Sunday, December 17, 2017
- Church reviews possible Catholic hospital mega-merger
- Daily Readings for Sunday, December 17, 2017
- pictures of saints
- john the baptist
- saint anne
- hail holy queen
- saint elizabeth
- saint paul
- saint christopher
- st mary
- nicene creed
- our lady of guadalupe
- saint francis of assisi
- young children
- Saint Nicole
- st. michael
- saint francis
- Daily Reading for Monday, December 18th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, December 17th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Saturday, December 16th, 2017 HD
- The Net Neutrality Scam: Get ready to pay a lot more for a lot less HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way