Thursday, April 15, 2010

Human rights

I am in the middle of preparing a workshop on Catholic Social Teaching for the rural areas of the cathedral parish here in Santa Rosa de Lima. I am also helping to find sources in Catholic Social Teaching for the schools of governability and democracy that Caritas is preparing for the eight deaneries of the diocese.

In the midst of my research I came across these fascinating paragraphs (60 - 61) in Blessed Pope John XXIII's 1963 encyclical Pacem in Terris - Peace on Earth.
60. It is agreed that in our time the common good is chiefly guaranteed when personal rights and duties are maintained. The chief concern of civil authorities must therefore be to ensure that these rights are acknowledged, respected, coordinated with other rights, defended and promoted, so that in this way each one may more easily carry out his duties. For "to safeguard the inviolable rights of the human person, and to facilitate the fulfillment of his duties, should be the chief duty of every public authority."

61. This means that, if any government does not acknowledge the rights of man or violates them, it not only fails in its duty, but its orders completely lack juridical force.

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