Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Pope: true peace needs respect for human rights


In the message for the World Day of Peace of 2007, Benedict XVI reaffirmed respect for life and religious freedom. To encourage the growth of the ‘tree of peace’, it is necessary to be led by a vision of mankind that is not marred by ideological and cultural prejudices or by political or economic interests that incite hatred and violence.
Respect of human beings and their rights constitute the true path towards peace, “a characteristic of divine action”, a gift of God and an obligation that binds individuals, states and the international community as a whole.

1 comment:

Henry said...

Here! Here! People have a right to the basic requirements for the sustenance of life. These are the four classical Elements - air, water, earth and fire. Air is not too much of problem, water is ok for some, and fire can be tricky. The most contentious one is land, because people can come along, put a fence round it and claim it is theirs. If anyone contests this they are backed up by the law of the land plus any force of their own they may care to impose. Land is just regarded as a commodity to be traded like any other, not as something essential for people to live upon and make their livelihoods.

Humans can do nothing without land. Catholic Social Teaching skirts round and hints at the issue, but nothing unequivocal has ever been said on the subject in any universal sense. Things are said sometimes about peasants' land rights in Third World countries and this is invariably discussed in terms of land distribution, which is no solution at all.

The only other land rights that get much of a mention are the land rights of the Palestinians, yet the English have also had their land stolen from them and most people haven't even noticed, yet it is not difficult to demonstrate that this is the root cause of much of the malaise in this country.