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Human rights development among the catholic christians  full article
Human rights development among the catholic christians  full article
Human rights development among the catholic christians  full article
Human rights development among the catholic christians  full article
Human rights development among the catholic christians  full article
Human rights development among the catholic christians  full article
Human rights development among the catholic christians  full article
Human rights development among the catholic christians  full article
Human rights development among the catholic christians  full article
Human rights development among the catholic christians  full article
Human rights development among the catholic christians  full article
Human rights development among the catholic christians  full article
Human rights development among the catholic christians  full article
Human rights development among the catholic christians  full article
Human rights development among the catholic christians  full article
Human rights development among the catholic christians  full article
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Human rights development among the catholic christians full article

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This article was presented in the National Seminar conducted by KMPGC of Puducherry, in Department of History, Headed by Dr.R.Natarajan

This article was presented in the National Seminar conducted by KMPGC of Puducherry, in Department of History, Headed by Dr.R.Natarajan

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  • 1. HUMAN RIGHTS DEVELOPMENT AMONG THE CATHOLIC CHRISTIANS P.CHARLES CHRISTOPHER RAJ M.A., M.Phil. M.I.M., M.L.I.S.C., M.C.A.,B.Ed.,P.G.D.T.A., ASSISTANT PROFESSOR of HISTORY DEPARTMENT OF HISTORICAL STUDIES KASTHURBA COLLEGE FOR WOMEN VILLIANUR, PUDUCHERRY 605 110 MOBILE: 9443723327 Email Id:ccraj18@gmail.com Introduction: Dignity and Rights are the two important eyes of every human being born in this world. They are inalienable and inherent in all human individuals and they can be claimed morally by all. These claims are articulated and formulated as human rights and have been transformed into legal rights, established according to the law-creating processes of societies, both national and international1. The historic relationship between Catholic Christians and human rights is an ambiguous one. For hundreds of years the Christian Church actively promoted religious intolerance and persecuted those who failed to accept its moral values and customs. Many of these values and practices are today rejected as contrary to the human rights culture and moral decency2. Max Stackhouse argues that while ‘[t]he deep roots of human rights ideals are rooted nowhere else than in the biblical tradition,’ these values ‘remained a minority tradition (within the Church) for centuries’3. James Woods,in turn, argues that ‘religion and freedom have not been natural allies’4. My article tends to bring into light and explore the process of accessing the activism and innovations as well as complexity faced by Catholic Christians for the success and development of human rights, with the help of popular rights through the publication of Pope Leo XIII’s 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum and also The three Vatican II documents in which the transformation Page | 1
  • 2. of the Catholic understanding of rights took place were Gaudium et Spes (1965), Pacem in Terris (1963), and Dignitatis Humanae (1965), which provides voluminous intellect in understanding and protecting the human rights. Catholic Christianity and the birth of Human Rights: Human Rights in the early civilizations of both the east and the west were composites of various philosophies that served the people’s social and cultural contexts. Secular and Religious conceptions of civilization determined the laws that dictated early human rights. The Ten Commandments given by God Yahweh through Prophet Moses to the people of Egypt 5 and the Code of Hammurabi from about 1800 B.C were often taken as the origin of human rights 6. The Specific Commandments that attempt to give rise to human rights to discourage anti – social behaviour are : • Honour your mother and father • You shall not murder • You shall not steal • You shall not bear false witness • You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbour. Apart from these commandments, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes among other documents pave way for the good behaviour to human rights. Zeno of Citium7 300 BC was influential throughout the Greco-Roman world till A.D 200. It stressed duty and held that, through reason, mankind can come to regard the universe as governed by fate and, despite appearances, as fundamentally rational, and that, in regulating one's life, one can emulate the grandeur of the calmness and order of the universe by learning to accept events with a stern and tranquil mind and to achieve a lofty moral worth. The Greeks waned and the Roman Empire grew as they too adopted a system of ‘humanitas’, which focused on a cultivated and educated society driven to Page | 2
  • 3. do good8. The fundamentals of human rights and duties, which are found in ‘The Twelve Tables’ for Roman citizens were laid in 450 B.C9. The record of Jesus Christ’s ‘Sermon on the Mount’ (Beatitudes) can become a great contribution to human rights10. From the beginning, basic rights and duties of citizens would become central to the drafting of any local or universal human rights ethic. The belief in a sympathetic existence is a common theme throughout the early history of human rights. Development of Human Rights and the Fundamental Tradition: Development of Catholic Human Rights can be traced back from Aquinas Saint Thomas11, Augustine12, the Bible13 and Aristotle14, but the modern teaching begins with the Pontificate of Leo XIII 1878-1903, which emphasis ‘Man precedes the State’, Human dignity as the standard for law has been emphatically brought out in his encyclical Rerum Novarum. It affirms the relative rights and mutual duties of the rich and the poor, of capital and labour. It gives importance to the conditions of human dignity, the rights to a just wage, the right to use one’s earned wages to purchase and own property, and the rights to adequate food, clothing and shelter. Each of these rights has a corresponding duty: employers are under an obligation to recognize and protect each of these rights. Workers have extendable right to organize associations or unions to defend their just claims. The state is obligated to protect the common good, ‘which consists in the mutual respect of rights and the fulfilment of duties by all citizens’ and the state also ‘has a special obligation to defend the rights of the poor and the powerless’15. Pope Pius XI reaffirmed the rights articulated in Rerum Novarum, the list of rights in addition, i.e., the right to life, to bodily integrity, to the necessary means of existence, the right to tend toward one’s ultimate goal in the path marked out by God; the right of association and the right to possess and use property. The same Pope who was so illiberal in certain aspects ultimately became the Pope who opened the church’s doors to the modern world, and in the process, inaugurated the tradition of modern Catholic social thought. One scholar even writes that ‘Human rights first came into modern Catholic Church social teaching’ with Rerum Novarum16. The language of rights is sufficiently muted, and the encyclical sufficiently shrouded in anti modernist overtones, that it Page | 3
  • 4. might be overly generous to characterize Pope Leo’s writings as having introduced into Catholic social thought the concept of human rights. Yet, the importance of the encyclical in furthering the church’s rapprochement with liberalism was tremendous . In urging Catholics to pursue social reform, Rerum Novarum acknowledged the reality and permanence of modern institutions. Even if, he was yet un prepared to fully embrace modernity, Pope Leo recognized that Christendom was not going to be resurrected. The Catholic church could never regain the position of supremacy it held during the Middle Ages. To continue aspiring to such a position simply relegated the church to the back seat in tying its fortunes to a lost world, the church had lost its ability to speak to the modern world. Leo thus urged the church not to try to defeat modernity, but rather to transform it. To do so, the church would have to participate in politics and address the issues of the day. Rerum Novarum was thus not only a statement on economic justice. It was an attempt to redefine the church’s relationship with the modern world and establish the foundations of a political theology. H. Richard Niebuhr could therefore appropriately speak of the ‘epoch-making pontificate’ of Leo XIII, which ‘drew the Roman Catholic church out of its isolationism and its tendency to think of true Christianity as an alien society in a strange world’17. Second Vatican Council Documents and the Importance of Human Rights: Twenty First Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church, was announced by Pope John XXIII. It has come to symbolize the church's readiness to acknowledge the circumstances of the modern world. Among the most notable of the 16 documents enacted were the “Dogmatic Constitution on the Church,” which treats church hierarchy and provides for greater involvement of laypeople in the church; the “Dogmatic Constitution of Divine Revelation,” which maintains an open attitude toward scholarly study of the Bible; the “Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy,” which provides for the use of vernacular languages in the mass in place of Latin; and the “Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the World of Today,” which acknowledges the profound changes humanity has experienced in the modern world and attempts to relate the church to contemporary culture. Observers from other Christian churches were invited to the council in a gesture of ecumenism. The three Vatican II documents in which Page | 4
  • 5. transformation of the Catholic understanding of rights took place were, Pacem in Terris (1963), Gaudium et Spes (1965) and Dignitatis Humanae (1965). (a) Pacem in Terris (1963) (Peace on Earth): This document begins with an affirmation that all men should be treated with great dignity and this does not imply only to Catholics in the world. Any human society, if it is to be well ordered and productive, must lay down as a foundation to this principle, namely, that every human being is a person, that is, his nature is endowed with intelligence and free will. As he is a person, he has rights and obligations flowing directly and simultaneously from his very nature. And as these rights are universal and inviolable they cannot in any way be surrendered. Every right has a corresponding duty to protect that right. Thus both the individual and the state are responsible for the protection of all rights - the social and economic rights as well as the civil and political rights – which are necessary for human dignity. Pacem in Terris emphasizes rights related to life and an adequate standard of living , rights concerning moral and cultural values, rights in the area of religious activity, rights in the area of family life, rights of economic feasibility, rights of assembly and association, rights of freedom of movement and residence, rights to participate in public affairs and to juridical protection of all one’s human rights. The encyclical ends with the urging of Catholics to assist non – Christians and non-Catholics in political and social aspects18. (b) Gaudium et Spes (1965) (The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World): This document suggests a fruitful way to combine the traditional view of human rights as rooted in human nature with modern historical consciousness. There are domains of human existence which cannot be suppressed without oppressing human rights. These include respect for the bodily, interpersonal, social-political, economic and cultural dimensions of human existence. Because of the increasing interdependence of persons the means to this respect must be more and more through the organised action of communities and of society as a whole19. (c) Dignitatis Humanae (1965) (Of the Dignity of the Human Person). Page | 5
  • 6. In 1965 during the last session of the Second Vatican Council approved two significant statements that advance the social teaching of the Roman Catholic Church on human rights. The Declaration on Religious Liberty (Dignitatis Humanae Personae), which asserts that religious freedom is fundamental to human dignity. This dignity is known through the revealed Word of God and by reason itself. Government bears a special responsibility to protect human dignity and to promote the inviolable rights of man. Dignitatis Humanae as David Hollenbach says that it acts as an important key to the problem of the foundation, interrelation and institutuionalization of human rights. Its importance shows that God’s own call to serve him binds persons in conscience but is not compulsion. God has regard for the dignity of all human beings as shown in the actions of Christ himself. Jesus did acknowledge the legitimacy of governments, but refused to impose his teachings by force. The Apostles followed His word and examples. The Church follows the Christ and the Apostles and recognises the principle of religious freedom, based both on the dignity and divine revelation. To carry the mission forward the Church herself does require a full measure of freedom and sacred freedom20. The Support of Holy See (Popes) for the Development of Human Rights: As regards the contribution of teaching given by the Church for the affirmation of human rights, Pius XII21, John XXIII22, Paul VI23 and, John Paul II24, Benedict XIV25, Francis I26 have uttered golden words, which can never be forgotten. Their strenuous efforts constitute the great impetus for the development of human rights among the Catholics • Pius XII In the Christmas Address on 24th December 1939 he condemned ‘contempt for dignity, freedom and human life, which leads to acts that cry out for God's vengeance’; In the Message on 1st June 1941 for the 50th anniversary of ‘Rerum Novarum’; ‘To protect the inviolable field of the rights of the human person and facilitate the fulfilment of his duties, should be the essential task of every public authority’; Page | 6
  • 7. In the Christmas broadcast of 24th December 1942: ‘Those who wish the star of peace to rise and stop over society, should contribute to restoring to the human person the dignity that was granted by God right from the beginning’; In the Address to the new Cardinals on 20th February 1946: ‘Bent as she is over man with unceasing attention, listening to every beat of his heart, the Church knows all his riches, and perceives all his aspirations with that clear-sighted intuition and penetrating subtlety, which only the supernatural light of the doctrine of Christ and the supernatural warmth of his divine charity can give’27. • John XXIII From, ‘Pacem in Terris’, 11th April 1963: ‘An orderly and fruitful social life is based on the principle that every human being is a person, that is, a nature endowed with intelligence and free will; and therefore is subject to rights and duties that derive immediately and simultaneously from his very nature: rights and duties which are, therefore, universal, inviolable, inalienable. If one goes on to consider the dignity of the human person in the light of divine revelation, then it will appear incomparably greater, since men have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, and with grace have become sons and friends of God and the heirs to eternal glory’28. • Paul VI In the Address on 4th October 1965 to the general Assembly of the United Nations: ‘For you proclaim the fundamental rights and duties of man, his dignity, his freedom, and in the first place religious freedom. Again We feel the higher sphere of our wisdom interpreted, and We add: Its sacredness. For it is a. question above all of the life of man: and the life of man is sacred: no one can dare to offend it... It is not only a question of feeding the hungry: it is also necessary to ensure for each man a life in conformity with his dignity. And this is what you are trying to do... We know how eagerly you are endeavouring to overcome illiteracy and to spread culture in the world; to give men an Page | 7
  • 8. adequate and modern health service, to put at the disposal of man the marvellous resources of science, technique, organization: all this is magnificent, and deserves the praise and support of everyone, including Ours’; On 26th March 1967, in ‘Populorum Progressio’, which was called the Magna Carta of development, the manifesto of the third world, the Pope affirmed: ‘With a mere effort of his intelligence and will, every man may grow in humanity, be worth more, be more... But every man is a member of society: he belongs to the whole of humanity. It is not just this or that man, but all men are called to this full development’; and he explained that true development consists in passing, one and all, ‘from less human to more human conditions’; In 1972 he wrote to the Secretary General of the UN: ‘The Church feels wounded in her own person whenever a man’s rights are disregarded or violated, whoever he is and whatever it is about,’. Moreover, his last words at the Synod of Bishops in 1974 were ‘We declare our determination to promote the rights of man and reconciliation among men, in the Church and in the world today’29. • John Paul II The Holy See has not spoken out forcefully against human rights violations, but explicitly identified human rights with the mission of the Church. In his address in 1986 at Singapore where 62,000 people gathered at the national stadium insisted that peace is possible only where there is a just order that ensures the rights of everyone. He described justice as an “attitude which recognizes the dignity and equality of all men and women and a firm commitment to strive to secure and protect the basic human rights of all. When he visited Australia, he defended the rights of the aborigines. In the encyclical, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, he identified the first positive sign of our time as the full awareness among large numbers of men and women of their own dignity and that of every human beings. Moreover he praised the UN in 1987 trip to United States of America for recognizing the Universal Declaration of Human Rigts and in the human Page | 8
  • 9. covenants which seek to implement it, the basic human rights including the inalienable rights of individuals and of the communities of peoples30. • Benedict XVI Pope Benedict opens out the fundamental human right, the presupposition of every other right, is the right to life itself. This is true of life from the moment of conception until its natural end. Abortion, consequently cannot be a human right – It is the very opposite, it is a deep wound in society. He insisted the promotion of human rights remains the most effective strategy for eliminating inequalities between countries and social groups and for increasing security. On April 15, 2008, when addressed the U.N General Assembly in the year that marked 60 th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights he said that human rights must be respected as an expression of Justice posits human dignity as the bedrock moral foundation of the Universal Declaration. He says ‘the natural law inscribed on human hearts and present in different cultures and civilization’. The Pope stood smack in the middle of Revolutionary Square with Raul Castro and his lackeys in the front row and condemned the Castro regime on the grounds of religious oppression and human rights. It was subtle and his own words ‘ the right to freedom of religion, both in its private and in its public dimension, manifests the unity of the human person, who is at once a citizen and a believer... strengthening religious freedom consolidates social bonds, nourishes the hope of a better world, creates favourable conditions for peace and harmonious development, while at the same time establishing solid foundations for securing the rights of future generations’31. • Francis He insisted that the Christian Church should create a new spiritual world. When he spoke about gay rights in private conversation with Marcelo Marquez and Andres Albertsen supported for the spiritual needs of homosexual people and said “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge them?. 32 He also said that the Page | 9
  • 10. Catholic Church must become the home for all and place its pastoral ministries ahead of such hot-button political and social issues as gay – marriage, abortion and contraception. Thus the concept of human rights has been adopted by Popes to communicate that each and every human being, as a child of God, has certain immunities from harm by others and merits certain kind of treatment. Conclusion Thus, the Catholic Church has been consistently forceful in defending the right to life of every single innocent human being from conception to natural death. Opposition to abortion and euthanasia form the necessary foundation for respecting human dignity in other areas such as education, poverty and immigration33. Working together with the UN, a stronger guarantee is needed and more effective means of ensuring respect for them, possibly with the proposed creation of the office of a High Commissioner of the United Nations for Human Rights, or of an International Court on the rights of man, along the lines of the European one already existing; it is desired to intensify the struggle against racial discriminations, to accelerate the progress of the movement for the rights of women, to suppress religious intolerance and anti-religious persecution, to obtain from all States effective recognition of the full exercise of the freedom of association and of freedom of opinion and of speech34. There is still a long way to go, and on this way the world will continue to be accompanied by the Church. The concrete contribution of the Catholic Church has made and will continue to make to the development of international initiatives, in this direction. The Holy See, considered either as the Central Government of the Church or as the Government of the State of Vatican City, has its recognized place in the world of international Organizations. And from this place it carries on its precious activity, both to encourage intergovernmental organisationn every activity with well- defined aims of peace and solidarity, and contributes directly to every work that has as its goal the progress of mankind35. Page | 10
  • 11. As in the past, it will therefore be a contact and a continual spur for U.N., for the specialized Agencies, the regional Organizations (particularly the European ones); it will be an opportune diplomatic action to prevent or solve the conflicts between peoples; it will protect and defend the fundamental rights of man; it will participate in the world campaigns against hunger, disease and illiteracy36. The Catholic Christians, brought out an international plan that their agencies, will continue to make the beneficial influence of the Christian voice heard in the many problems that society has to cope up with today. Operating together with the international Organizations, the Catholic Church joins its hands and strength to sustain the human rights bestowed by God on the earth. Footnotes and References : 1. Two important publications which examine the contributions of various streams of thought on human rights are : Human Rights Comments and Interpretations, London/New York, Alban Wingate, 1948; and Birth rights of Man, Paris, UNESCO,1969. 2. Max Stackhouse, Religion and Human Rights: A Theological Apologetic, in John Witte and Johan van der Vyver, eds, Religious Human Rights in Global Perspective: Religious Perspectives p. 485, p. 492,1996. Page | 11
  • 12. 3. Max Stackhouse, Creeds, Society and Human Rights: A Study in Three Cultures, Eerdmans, 1984, p.70. 4. James Wood, Editorial: Religion and Religious Liberty, Eerdmans,1991, p.33. 5. De Baets,Antoon, Impact of Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the Study of History--- History and Theory.Volume 48, (February 2009): p.20-22. 6. Ishay, Micheline R., The History of Human Rights – from Ancient Times to the Globalisation Era, Berkeley,2004, p.7. 7. Zeno of Citium --- Greek philosopher, founder of Stoicism. He went to Athens c. 312 BC and attended lectures by the Cynics Crates of Thebes (fl. late 4th century BC) and Stilpon of Megara (c. 380–300 BC), as well as lectures at the Academy. He began to teach in the Stoa Poikile (“Painted Colonnade”), whence the name of his philosophy. His system included logic, epistemology, physics, and ethics. He taught that happiness lies in conforming the will to the divine reason, which governs the universe. In logic and epistemology he was influenced by Antisthenes (c. 445–365 BC) and Diodorus Cronus (fl. 4th century BC), in physics by Heracleitus. Only fragmentary quotations from many treatises have survived. his 8. Ishay, Micheline R., The History of Human Rights – from Ancient Times to the Globalisation Era, Berkeley,2004, p.9. 9. Earliest codification of ancient Roman law, traditionally dated to 451–450 BC. They were purportedly written at the demand of the plebeians, who felt that their legal rights were hampered by the fact that court judgments were rendered according to unwritten custom preserved only within a small group of learned patricians. The Twelve Tables were not a reform or a liberalizing of old custom; they recognized the prerogatives of the patrician class and of the patriarchal family, the validity of enslavement for unpaid debt, and the interference of religious custom in civil cases. Because only random quotations from the Twelve Tables are extant, knowledge about their contents is largely derived from references in later juridical writings. Venerated by the Romans as a prime legal source, the Twelve Tables were superseded by later changes in Roman law but were never formally abolished. 10. Lewis,Jon E..,ed.2003. A Documentary History of Human Rights: A Record of the Events, Documents and Speeches that Shaped Our World. New York,NY:Carroll & Graf Publishers. 11. Foremost philosopher and theologian of the Roman Catholic church. his great achievement was to integrate into Christian thought the rigours of Aristotle's philosophy, just as the early Church Fathers had integrated Plato's thought in the early Christian era. He held that reason is capable of operating within faith; while the philosopher relies solely on reason, the theologian accepts faith as his starting point and then proceeds to Page | 12
  • 13. conclusion through the use of reason. This point of view was controversial, as was his belief in the religious value of nature, for which he argued that to detract from the perfection of creation was to detract from the creator. 12. Christian theologian and one of the Latin Fathers of the Church. His best-known works include the Confessions, an autobiographical meditation on God's grace, and The City of God, on the nature of human society and the place of Christianity in history. His theological works On Christian Doctrine and On the Trinity are also widely read. His sermons and letters show the influence of Neoplatonism and carry on debates with the proponents of Manichaeism, Donatism, and Pelagianism. His views on predestination influenced later theologians, notably John Calvin. He was declared a Doctor of the Church in the early Middle Ages. 13. Sacred scriptures of Judaism and Christianity. The Jewish scriptures consist of the Torah (or Pentateuch), the Neviim (“Prophets”), and the Ketuvim (“Writings”), which together constitute what Christians call the Old Testament. The Pentateuch and Joshua relate how Israel became a nation and came to possess the Promised Land. The Prophets describe the establishment and development of the monarchy and relate the prophets' messages. The Writings include poetry, speculation on good and evil, and history. The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Bible includes additional Jewish writings called the Apocrypha. The New Testament consists of early Christian literature. The Gospels tell of the life, person, and teachings of Jesus. The Acts of the Apostles relates the earliest history of Christianity. The Epistles (Letters) are correspondence of early church leaders (chiefly St. Paul) and address the needs of early congregations. Revelation is the only canonical representative of a large genre of early Christian apocalyptic literature. 14. Greek philosopher and scientist whose thought determined the course of Western intellectual history for two millenia. 15. Rerum Novarum,1891, Encyclical of Leo XIII on the Rights and Duties of Capital and Labor no.7. 16. David Hollenbach, Claims in Conflict: Retrieving and Renewing the Catholic Human Rigths Tradition,New York,1979,pp.42-47. 17. Ibid, pp.49-56. 18. Pacem in Terris,1963 Encyclical of John XXIII on World Peace, in Joseph Gremillion, ed., The Gospel of Peace and Justice : Catholic Social Teaching since Pope John,New York,1976,p.9. 19. Gaudium et Spes,1965,Encyclical of Pope Paul VI, in Joseph Gremillion, ed., The Gospel of Peace and Justice : Catholic Social Teaching since Pope John,New York,1976,p.264. 20. Dignitatis Humanae,1965, in in Joseph Gremillion, ed., The Gospel of Peace and Page | 13
  • 14. Justice : Catholic Social Teaching since Pope John,New York,1976,p.339. 21. He was born in March 2, 1876, Rome, Italy and died Oct. 9, 1958, Castel Gandolfo his real name was Pope between 1939-58. Before succeeding Pius XI in 1939, he served in the papal diplomatic service and as secretary of state to the Holy See. He was active in humanitarian work with prisoners and refugees during World War II but has been criticized by some for not having done more to prevent or battle the Holocaust. In the postwar era he was a defender of persecuted Catholics in communist countries. Known for his austere conservatism, he in 1950 defined the dogma of the bodily Assumption of the Virgin. 22. His original name was Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli. He was born in Nov. 25, 1881,in a place called Sotto il Monte, Italy and he was Pope between 1958–63 and took the name as John XXIII. He died June 3, 1963, Rome; beatified Sept. 3, 2000; feast day October 11and he is to be canonized by the Present Pope Francis I. He studied theology in Rome, was ordained a priest in 1904, and held a variety of church offices. In 1944 he was named papal nuncio to newly liberated France, where he successfully revived sympathy for the Vatican. Made a cardinal in 1953, he was elected pope after the death of Pius XII (1939– 58). Because of his advanced age, he was expected to be little more than a caretaker in the office, but instead he became the major reforming pope of the century. Eager to lead the church into the modern era, he called the Second Vatican Council in 1962, inviting Eastern Orthodox and Protestant observers to join Catholic delegates. He also sought to repair relations with the Jews. The council went on to make major reforms in Catholic liturgy and administration, though John died before its conclusion. An energetic advocate of world peace, he was one of the most popular popes in history. In 2000 he was beatified by John Paul II . 23. His original name was Giovanni Battista Montini, he was born on 26th September, 1897, in a place Concesio, near Brescia, Italy and was Pope from 1963 to 1978. He died on 6th August,1978, in Castel Gandolfo. He was Educated at Brescia and ordained in 1920, he continued his studies in Rome, earning degrees in civil and canon law. He was a church diplomat for much of his career, until he was named archbishop of Milan in 1954. He became a cardinal in 1958, and in 1963 he was elected pope. Paul VI presided over the final sessions of the Second Vatican Council and appointed commissions to carry out its reforms, including revisions in the mass. He also relaxed rules on fasting, removed a number of questionable saints from the church's calendar, and enforced conservative positions on birth control and clerical celibacy. He promoted ecumenism and was the first Pope to travel widely, visiting Israel, India, Asia, and Latin America. 24. His original name was Karol Wojtyła and was born on 18th May 1920, in a place called Wadowice, Polland. He died April 2, 2005, Vatican City. He was the long term Pope from 1978 to 2005, the bishop of Rome and head of the Roman Catholic church, the first non-Italian pope in 455 years and the first ever from a Slavic country. He studied for the priesthood at an underground seminary in Kraków during World War II and was ordained in 1946. He earned a doctorate in philosophy in Rome (1948) and returned home to serve in a parish, earning a second doctorate (also 1948), in sacred theology, from the Page | 14
  • 15. Jagiellonian University. He became archbishop of Kraków in 1964 and cardinal in 1967. Elected pope after the 33-day pontificate of John Paul I (b. 1912—d. 1978), he became known for his energy, charisma, and intellect as well as for his conservative theological views and fervent anticommunism. In 1981 John Paul was shot in St. Peter's Square by a Turkish gunman, but he recovered, resumed his work, and forgave his would-be assassin. His trips abroad attracted some of the largest crowds ever assembled. His nonviolent activism spurred movements that contributed to the peaceful dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. He championed economic and political justice in developing nations. In naming 44 cardinals from five continents (February 2001), John Paul reached out to cultures around the world. He also canonized more saints, from more parts of the world, than had any other pope. His ecumenical efforts, including meetings with Jewish, Muslim, and Eastern Orthodox religious leaders, were widely praised, but he often drew criticism for his traditionalist views on issues of gender and sexuality. Although afflicted with Parkinson disease since the early 1990s, John Paul remained active and made a historic trip to Jerusalem in March 2000, during which he sought to improve relations between the Roman Catholic church and Jews. He was to be canonized by the present Pope Francis I. 25. His original name was Joseph Alois Ratzinger and was born in April 16, 1927, Marktl am Inn, Germany. He was Pope from 2005 to 2013, who was the 265th successor of Saint Peter was the first pontiff to resign and to do so in nearly 600 years. He took the name as Benedict XVI, and became Pope in 2005.He was ordained in 1951 and received a doctorate in theology at the University of Munich in 1953. Thereafter he pursued a career as a theologian and teacher at various universities. During the Second Vatican Council (1962–65) he served as an expert adviser and an advocate of reform. In 1977 he was appointed archbishop of Munich; three months later he was made a cardinal. As prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 1981 to 2005, he enforced doctrinal uniformity in the church and served as a close adviser of Pope John Paul II. He was faced with numerous challenges when he became pope, including a decline in church attendance and in the number of new priests, deep divisions over the direction of the church, and the lingering effects of a sexual-abuse scandal involving priests in various parts of the world. 26. His original name was Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was born on 17th December 1936, ordained Priest in 1969, and became cardinal in 2001. He was elected as Pope on 13 th March 2013. He became the 266th Pope and was the first to take the name as Francis from the name of St.Francis of Assisi. 27. Pope Pius XII, Christmas Address,1939,David Hollenbach, Claims in Conflict: Retrieving and Renewing the Catholic Human Rigths Tradition,New York,1979,p.60. 28. Ibid,pp 61-62. 29. Robert Traer, Faith in Human Rights: Support in Religious Traditions for a Global Struggle, Washington, D.C., Georgetown University Press, 1991, p.42. Page | 15
  • 16. 30. On John Paul II and human rights see, J. Bryan Hehir, “Religious Activism for Human Rights: A Christian Case Study,” in Religious Human Rights in Global Perspective, p.97119. 31. Ian Fisher and Michael M.Grynbaum published Friday, April 18, 2008, The New York times,New York. 32. http:/www/goodreads.com/quotes/680664/the fundamentals of human right - the presupposition and every other right. 33. http:/www.cognoscenti.wbur.org/2013/02/12/benedict/tizana/dearing 34. John A. Ryan, “Christian Standards in Social Life,” The Catholic Charities Review X (February 1926):pp. 51-59. 35. Ernesto Gallina, The Church and Human Rights, L'Osservatore Romano. 36. Mary Ann Glendon,The Influence of Catholic Social Doctrin on Human Rights,Vatican City,2010,p.p.80-83. Page | 16

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