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F O R H U M A N D I G N I T Y

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  • 1. FOR HUMAN DIGNITY EXTRACTS FROM INTERVENTIONSOF BENEDICT XVI AND THE HOLY SEE ABOUT INTERNATIONAL QUESTIONS
  • 2. « For human dignity » gathers extracts from speeches of the Pope and Holy See Delegates before InternationalOrganizations. This publication could be a good guideline and a constant reference for those working in theinternational arena. The publication has been made possible thanks to the offer of the Librería Editrice Vaticana which owns thecopyright. Furthermore, FPSC would like to thank Johan Ketelers, Secretary General of the International CatholicMigration Commission for the idea of setting up this project and giving us the opportunity to publish and diffuseit among the participants of the 2010 Forum. February 2010 EDITED BY: EDITADO POR: Fundación Promoción Social de la Cultura Huertas, 71, 5º Dcha. 28014 Madrid (Spain) Tel.: 34-91 344 01 76 Fax: 34-91 344 03 66 e-mail: fpsc@fundacionfpsc.org www.fundacionfpsc.org© Copyright 2010 Libreria Editrice Vaticana, concession has been offered
  • 3. INDEXINTRODUCTION................................................................................................................ 1DEVELOPMENT AND COOPERATION....................................................................... 3 Development Aid .............................................................................................................. 3 Trade ................................................................................................................................... 5 Globalization...................................................................................................................... 7 Business .............................................................................................................................. 9 Finance ................................................................................................................................10 Companies..........................................................................................................................12 Work....................................................................................................................................13 Human person ...................................................................................................................15 Population ..........................................................................................................................17 Food security......................................................................................................................18 Food Safety.........................................................................................................................20 Solidarity and Cooperation..............................................................................................22 Subsidiarity ........................................................................................................................24 Human Development .......................................................................................................25 Rural Development ...........................................................................................................28ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ............................................................................................31 Environment ......................................................................................................................31 Human Ecology .................................................................................................................32EDUCATION ........................................................................................................................35 Integral Education.............................................................................................................35 Inclusive Education...........................................................................................................36 Cultural Integration ..........................................................................................................37RELIGIOUS ISSUES ...........................................................................................................39 Religious Freedom ............................................................................................................39 Interreligious Dialogue.....................................................................................................42HUMAN RIGHTS................................................................................................................45 Dignity and Human Nature ............................................................................................45 Rights and Responsibilities..............................................................................................47 Right to Food......................................................................................................................49
  • 4. Right to education, training and instruction .................................................................52 Promotion of women ........................................................................................................53 Childhood...........................................................................................................................55 Trade-unionism .................................................................................................................57PEACE AND SECURITY ....................................................................................................59 International Humanitarian Rights ................................................................................60 Disarmament......................................................................................................................61 Peace, Right of the responsibility to protect..................................................................64HUMAN MOBILITY, MIGRATION AND REFUGEES ..............................................67 Migration ............................................................................................................................67 Refugees..............................................................................................................................70 Trafficking in human beings............................................................................................73 International Tourism.......................................................................................................74LIFE AND HEALTH ............................................................................................................75 Health care .........................................................................................................................75 Life.......................................................................................................................................76 Drugs...................................................................................................................................79 HIV/AIDS ..........................................................................................................................79SOCIAL ISSUES...................................................................................................................83 Family .................................................................................................................................83 Social Integration...............................................................................................................84 Means of Social Communication ....................................................................................87 Technology .........................................................................................................................89
  • 5. INTRODUCTIONIt is my pleasure to introduce this collection of highlights related to the positioning andpolicy work of the Holy See. The collection of excerpts primarily intends to serve as areminder of some of the more recent statements of the Church on various subjects ofinterest and aims to be of good use, both in better preparing for the upcoming 2010Forum meeting, and in building the future political commitments of Catholic-inspiredNGOs.In searching for those elements that would prove to be most useful, we came acrossmany more documents and the initiative gradually became a major effort in selectingthose that seemed most relevant to recent positioning. We wanted these highlights tobe organized in accordance with the themes already identified during the previousmapping exercise of the policy work of Catholic-inspired NGOs, but rapidly came tothe conclusion that, for reading purposes and to avoid a repetition of excerpts resortingunder various chapters, a more detailed subdivision would be necessary. Additionalsubdivisions that were not part of the initial approach have therefore been introduced,yet still within the framework of the eight major themes identified.Today the collection includes more than 230 extracts of various documents from thepast three years. The collection is not built on scientific criteria, nor was there muchattention paid to the relationship between the various excerpts. Instead, focus was givento the positioning value, and to the aim to make this a useful tool in preparing for theForum meeting, as well as in the further daily work of Catholic-inspired organisations.It can, therefore, not be read as a compendium or as a unique reference guideline, noris it an exhaustive collection. It serves much more as a reminder and as an appetizer toread more and think further. Hopefully, it also serves as an eye opener on those subjectswith which we are less familiar, and as an invitation to go in more depth in those linesthat are repeatedly heard, à charge et à décharge, of our Church’s positioning.We hope to see this effort continued, and have therefore included CDs that offer thevery practical potential to use and increase the collection with those excerpts that mayprove to be of use for us. In regularly updating the extracts, the tool may graduallybecome a more exhaustive collection that integrates the work of previous years, as wellas interesting statements made in the future. We would recommend that all of thevarious future thematic groups give this idea some further consideration. Furthermore,compiling, in a similar way, positions taken and statements issued by the variousorganisations could prove to be an extremely valuable complement to show both theway in which Catholic-inspired organisations largely contribute pursuing shared goals,and how much is being targeted and worked at today.This volume owes a lot to the patient research work done by Marco Rotunno, MarcoBattelli, Maria Letizia Perugini and Laura Vaticano. Their extensive reading and 1
  • 6. selections have no doubt contributed significantly to the quality of this collection. Wealso want to express great gratitude to Mrs. Pilar Lara, President of the Foundation forthe Social Promotion of Culture (Fundación de la Promoción Social de la Cultura-FPSC)who offered to edit the collection to be handed to all participants of the Forum. Ourgratitude also includes the relentless coordination efforts of Mrs. Fermina Alvarez,whose great determination and conviction have greatly contributed to achieving thisfirst collection in very limited time.We sincerely hope to see this effort continued and integrated as a goal in the continuedForum process. We are convinced that such an initiative will make an importantcontribution to enhancing our collective Catholic-inspired identity, and increasevisibility of the work and commitment carried by so many organisations. Johan Ketelers Chair of the Working Group 2
  • 7. DEVELOPMENT AND COOPERATIONDevelopment AidThe international development aid, whatever the donors’ intentions, can sometimes lockpeople into a state of dependence and even foster situations of localized oppressionand exploitation in the receiving country. Economic aid, in order to be true to itspurpose, must not pursue secondary objectives. It must be distributed with theinvolvement not only of the governments of receiving countries, but also local economicagents and the bearers of culture within civil society, including local Churches. Aidprogrammes must increasingly acquire the characteristics of participation andcompletion from the grass roots. Indeed, the most valuable resources in countriesreceiving development aid are human resources: herein lies the real capital that needsto accumulate in order to guarantee a truly autonomous future for the poorestcountries. It should also be remembered that, in the economic sphere, the principalform of assistance needed by developing countries is that of allowing and encouragingthe gradual penetration of their products into international markets, thus making itpossible for these countries to participate fully in international economic life. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 58 *International cooperation requires people who can be part of the process of economic andhuman development through the solidarity of their presence, supervision, training andrespect. From this standpoint, international organizations might question the actualeffectiveness of their bureaucratic and administrative machinery, which is oftenexcessively costly. […] Within this context of responsibility you place the right of eachcountry to define its own economic model by providing ways of ensuring their freedomof choice and goals. In this perspective, cooperation is to became effective, free fromconstraints and interests that can absorb a significant proportion of resources devotedto development. It’ s also important to stress that the path of solidarity for thedevelopment of the poor countries can also become a way of resolving the global crisis.Arguing, in fact, with plans to finance solidarity inspired by these Nations to arrangefor themselves to meet their consumers demand and development not only promoteseconomic growth in them, but you can have a positive impact on overall humandevelopment other countries. Benedict XVI, Visit to the Palace of the FAO on the occasion of the 36th Session of the General Conference of the United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, November 16, 2009 *Therefore with the same force as that with which John Paul II asked for the cancellationof the foreign debt I too would like to appeal to the member countries of the G8, to theother States represented and to the Governments of the whole world to maintain and 3
  • 8. reinforce aid for development, especially aid destined to “make the most” of “humanresources”, not only in spite of the crisis, but precisely because it is one of the principalpaths to its solution. Is it not in fact through investment in the human being in all themen and women of the earth that it will be possible to succeed in effectively dispellingthe disturbing prospective of global recession? Is not this truly the way to obtain, tothe extent possible, a trend in the world economy that benefits the inhabitants of everycountry, rich and poor, large and small? Benedict XVI, Letter to Hon. Mr Silvio Berlusconi, Prime Minister of Italy, on the occasion of the G8 Summit (L’Aquila, 8-10 July 2009), July 1, 2009 *The aid given to poor countries must be guided by sound economic principles, avoidingform of waste associated principally with the maintenance of expensive bureaucratise. Benedict XVI, Message for the celebration of the XLI World Day of Peace, January 1, 2008 *The current crisis has raised the spectre of the cancellation or drastic reduction ofexternal assistance programmes, especially for Africa and for less developed countrieselsewhere. Development aid, including the commercial and financial conditionsfavourable to less developed countries and the cancellation of the external debt of thepoorest and most indebted countries, has not been the cause of the crisis and, out offundamental justice, must not be its victim. Benedict XVI, Letter to the Right Hon. Gordon Brown Prime Minister of Great Britain at the Vigil of the G20 Summit in London, March 30, 2009 *Long-term financing programs are needed to overcome the external debt of the highlyindebted poor countries (HIPC), consolidate the economic and constitutional systemsand create a social safety network. Likewise, international trading conditions have toconform to its proper needs and economic challenges. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 64 Session of the Un Assembly before the Plenary: th “Progress in implementation and International Support”, New York, October 21, 2009 *Sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising theability of future generations to meet their needs. Likewise, sustainable financing shouldmeet the present capital needs for development, while ensuring the long-termpreservation and increase of resources. It is time for developed and developing 4
  • 9. countries alike to reaffirm the principle of sustainable financial development apply itto financial markets and thus create truly sustainable capital management. Such is thegreat challenge of this Conference: nothing less than to ensure, in a sustainable way, thefinancing for development. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the Doha Conference on Financing for Development, Doha, December 1, 2008 *Although international aid is important, even more crucial is a fair international tradeenvironment, where correct practices that are biased to the detriment of the weaker economies. Intervention by The Holy See at the 62nd UN General Assembly on “Recognizing achievements, addressing the challenges and getting back on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015”, New York, April 4, 2008TradeIn a climate of mutual trust, the market is the economic institution that permitsencounter between persons, inasmuch as they are economic subjects who make use ofcontracts to regulate their relations as they exchange goods and services of equivalentvalue between them, in order to satisfy their needs and desires. The market is subjectto the principles of so-called commutative justice, which regulates the relations of givingand receiving between parties to a transaction. But the social doctrine of the Church hasunceasingly highlighted the importance of distributive justice and social justice for themarket economy, not only because it belongs within a broader social and politicalcontext, but also because of the wider network of relations within which it operates. Infact, if the market is governed solely by the principle of the equivalence in value ofexchanged goods, it cannot produce the social cohesion that it requires in order tofunction well. Without internal forms of solidarity and mutual trust, the market cannotcompletely fulfil its proper economic function. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 35 *Economic activity cannot solve all social problems through the simple application ofcommercial logic. This needs to be directed towards the pursuit of the common good, for whichthe political community in particular must also take responsibility. Therefore, it mustbe borne in mind that grave imbalances are produced when economic action, conceivedmerely as an engine for wealth creation, is detached from political action, conceived asa means for pursuing justice through redistribution […] The great challenge before us,accentuated by the problems of development in this global era and made even moreurgent by the economic and financial crisis, is to demonstrate, in thinking and 5
  • 10. behaviour, not only that traditional principles of social ethics like transparency, honestyand responsibility cannot be ignored or attenuated, but also that in commercialrelationships the principle of gratuitousness and the logic of gift as an expression offraternity can and must find their place within normal economic activity. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 36 *The increasing globalization of markets does not always promote the availability offood and production systems are often constrained by structural limitations, as well asprotectionist policies and speculative phenomena that relegate entire populations tothe margins of development processes. In light of this situation, we must reaffirmstrongly that hunger and malnutrition are unacceptable in a world that, in fact, level ofproduction, resources and knowledge sufficient to put an end to this tragedies and theirconsequences. The great challenge today is to “globalize not only economic andcommercial interests, but also the expectations of solidarity, respecting and promotingthe contribution of each component of man. Benedict XVI, Message to the High Level Conference on World Food Security sponsored by FAO, Rome, June 2, 2008 *Global interconnectedness has led to the emergence of a new political power, that ofconsumers and their associations. This is a phenomenon that needs to be further explored, asit contains positive elements to be encouraged as well as excesses to be avoided. It is goodfor people to realize that purchasing is always a moral —and not simply economic—act. Hence the consumer has a specific social responsibility, which goes hand-in- hand withthe social responsibility of the enterprise. Consumers should be continually educatedregarding their daily role, which can be exercised with respect for moral principleswithout diminishing the intrinsic economic rationality of the act of purchasing. In theretail industry, particularly at times like the present when purchasing power hasdiminished and people must live more frugally, it is necessary to explore other paths:for example, forms of cooperative purchasing like the consumer cooperatives that havebeen in operation since the nineteenth century, partly through the initiative of Catholics.In addition, it can be helpful to promote new ways of marketing products from deprivedareas of the world, so as to guarantee their producers a decent return. However, certainconditions need to be met: the market should be genuinely transparent; the producers,as well as increasing their profit margins, should also receive improved formation inprofessional skills and technology; and finally, trade of this kind must not becomehostage to partisan ideologies. A more incisive role for consumers, as long as theythemselves are not manipulated by associations that do not truly represent them, is adesirable element for building economic democracy. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 66 6
  • 11. Charity in truth places man before the astonishing experience of gift. Gratuitousness ispresent in our lives in many different forms, which often go unrecognized because ofa purely consumerist and utilitarian view of life. The human being is made for gift,which expresses and makes present his transcendent dimension […] Economic, socialand political development, if it is to be authentically human, needs to make room forthe principle of gratuitousness as an expression of fraternity. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 34 *In the global era, economic activity cannot rescind from gratuitousness, which fostersand disseminates solidarity and responsibility for justice and the common good amongthe different economic players. It is clearly a specific and profound form of economicdemocracy […] While in the past it was possible to argue that justice had to come firstand gratuitousness could follow afterwards, as a complement, today it is clear thatwithout gratuitousness, there can be no justice in the first place. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 38 *The dignity of the individual and the demands of justice require, particularly today,that economic choices do not cause disparities in wealth to increase in an excessive andmorally unacceptable manner, and that we continue to prioritize the goal of access to steadyemployment for everyone […] Lowering the level of protection accorded to the rights ofworkers, or abandoning mechanisms of wealth redistribution in order to increase thecountry’s international competitiveness, hinder the achievement of lastingdevelopment. Moreover, the human consequences of current tendencies towards ashort-term economy —sometimes very short-term— need to be carefully evaluated. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 32 *In addressing food insecurity, due consideration must be given to the structuralsystems, such as subsidies in developed countries and commodity dumping whichdrives down the ability of African farmers to make a living wage. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 64 Session of the General Assembly before the Plenary, on item 63: th “New economic partnership for Africa’s Development: progress in implementation and international support”, New York, October 21, 2009GlobalizationGlobalization has been the principal driving force behind the emergence fromunderdevelopment of whole regions, and in itself it represents a great opportunity. 7
  • 12. Nevertheless, without the guidance of charity in truth, this global force could causeunprecedented damage and create new divisions within the human family. Hencecharity and truth confront us with an altogether new and creative challenge, one thatis certainly vast and complex. It is about broadening the scope of reason and making itcapable of knowing and directing these powerful new forces, animating them within theperspective of that “civilization of love” whose seed God has planted in every people,in every culture. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 33 *Globalization eliminates certain barriers, but is still able to build new ones; it bringspeoples together, but spatial and temporal proximity does not of itself create theconditions for true communion and authentic peace. Effective means to redress themarginalization of the world’s poor through globalization will only be found if peopleeverywhere feel personally outraged by the injustices in the world and by theconcomitant violations of human rights. The Church […] will continue to offer hercontribution so that injustices and misunderstandings may be resolved, leading to aworld of greater peace and solidarity. Benedict XVI, Message for the celebration of the XLII World Day of Peace, n. 8, January 1, 2009 *Globalization by itself is incapable of making peace and, in many cases, it actuallycreates divisions and conflicts. It points to a need: to be oriented to a goals ofprofound solidarity which seeks the good of each and everyone. In this sense,globalization is seen as a good opportunity to achieve something important in thefight against poverty and for providing justice and peace resources previouslyunthinkable. Benedict XVI, Message for the celebration of the XLII World Day of Peace, n. 14, January 1, 2009 *Fighting poverty requires a careful consideration of the complex phenomenon ofglobalization. This consideration is important form the point of view of method,because it suggests using the result of research conducted by economists and socialscientists on many aspects of poverty. The appeal of globalization should, however,also carry a spiritual meaning and moral calling to look in order to be aware all sharea single divine plan, that of the vocation to be a single family in which everyone–individuals, populations and nations- regulate their behaviour based on principles ofbrotherhood and responsibility. Benedict XVI, Message for the celebration of the XLII World Day of Peace, n. 2, January 1, 2009 8
  • 13. Sometimes globalization is viewed in fatalistic terms, as if the dynamics involved werethe product of anonymous impersonal forces or structures independent of the humanwill. In this regard it is useful to remember that while globalization should certainly beunderstood as a socio-economic process, this is not its only dimension. Underneath themore visible process, humanity itself is becoming increasingly interconnected; it ismade up of individuals and peoples to whom this process should offer benefits anddevelopment, as they assume their respective responsibilities, singly and collectively.The breaking-down of borders is not simply a material fact: it is also a cultural eventboth in its causes and its effects […] Hence a sustained commitment is needed so as topromote a person-based and community-oriented cultural process of world-wide integrationthat is open to transcendence. Despite some of its structural elements, which shouldneither be denied nor exaggerated, “globalization, a priori, is neither good nor bad. Itwill be what people make of it”. We should not be its victims, but rather itsprotagonists, acting in the light of reason, guided by charity and truth. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 42BusinessA “common code of ethics” is also needed, consisting of norms based not upon mereconsensus, but rooted in the natural law inscribed by the Creator on the conscience ofevery human being (cf. Rom 2, 14-15). Does not every one of us sense deep within hisor her conscience a call to make a personal contribution to the common good and topeace in society? Benedict XVI, Message for the celebration of the XLII World Day of Peace, n. 8, January 1, 2009 *Striving to meet the deepest moral needs of the person also has important and beneficialrepercussions at the level of economics. The economy needs ethics in order to functioncorrectly — not any ethics whatsoever, but an ethics which is people-centred […] Effortsare needed —and it is essential to say this— not only to create “ethical” sectors orsegments of the economy or the world of finance, but to ensure that the whole economy—the whole of finance— is ethical, not merely by virtue of an external label, but by itsrespect for requirements intrinsic to its very nature. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 45 *The economy Healthy, you have to build a new confidence. This can only be achievedthrough the implementation of an ethic based on the innate dignity of the human person. Benedict XVI, Address to the members of the Diplomatic Corps, Rome, January 8, 2009 9
  • 14. Financial crises are triggered when –partially due to the decline of correct ethicalconduct– those working in the economic sector lose trust in its modes of operatingand in its financial systems. Nevertheless, finance, commerce and productionsystems are contingent human creations which, if they become objects of blind faith,bear within themselves the roots of their own downfall. Their true and solidfoundation is faith in the human person. For this reason all the measures proposedto rein in this crisis must seek, ultimately, to offer security to families and stabilityto workers and, through appropriate regulations and controls, to restore ethics tothe financial world. Benedict XVI, Letter to the Right Hon. Gordon Brown Prime Minister of Great Britain at the vigil of the G20 Summit in London, March 30, 2009 *There are economic, juridical and cultural dimensions of the present crisis. To engagein financial activity cannot be reduced to making easy profits, but also must include thepromotion of the common good among those who lend, those who borrow, and thosewho work. The lack of an ethical base has brought the crisis to low, middle and highincome countries alike. The Delegation of the Holy See, Mr. President, calls for renewed“attention to the need for an ethical approach to the creation of positive partnershipsbetween markets, civil society and States”. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the world financial crisis, Geneva, February 20, 2009FinanceFinance, therefore -through the renewed structures and operating methods that haveto be designed after its misuse, which wreaked such havoc on the real economy- nowneeds to go back to being an instrument directed towards improved wealth creation anddevelopment. Insofar as they are instruments, the entire economy and finance, not justcertain sectors, must be used in an ethical way so as to create suitable conditions forhuman development and for the development of peoples. It is certainly useful, and insome circumstances imperative, to launch financial initiatives in which thehumanitarian dimension predominates. However, this must not obscure the fact thatthe entire financial system has to be aimed at sustaining true development. Above all,the intention to do good must not be considered incompatible with the effectivecapacity to produce goods. Financiers must rediscover the genuinely ethicalfoundation of their activity, so as not to abuse the sophisticated instruments whichcan serve to betray the interests of savers. Right intention, transparency, and the searchfor positive results are mutually compatible and must never be detached from oneanother. If love is wise, it can find ways of working in accordance with provident and 10
  • 15. just expediency, as is illustrated in a significant way by much of the experience ofcredit unions. Both the regulation of the financial sector, so as to safeguard weakerparties and discourage scandalous speculation, and experimentation with new formsof finance, designed to support development projects, are positive experiences thatshould be further explored and encouraged, highlighting the responsibility of theinvestor. Furthermore, the experience of micro-finance, which has its roots in the thinkingand activity of the civil humanists —I am thinking especially of the birth of pawnbroking— should be strengthened and fine-tuned. This is all the more necessary inthese days when financial difficulties can become severe for many of the morevulnerable sectors of the population, who should be protected from the risk of usuryand from despair. The weakest members of society should be helped to defendthemselves against usury, just as poor peoples should be helped to derive real benefitfrom micro-credit, in order to discourage the exploitation that is possible in these twoareas. Since rich countries are also experiencing new forms of poverty, micro-financecan give practical assistance by launching new initiatives and opening up new sectorsfor the benefit of the weaker elements in society, even at a time of general economicdownturn. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 65 *Lending is a necessary social activity. Nonetheless, financial institutions and agents areresponsible for ensuring that lending fulfils its proper function in society, connectingsavings to production […] Financial activity needs to be sufficiently transparent sothat individual savers, especially the poor and those least protected, understand whatwill become of their savings. This calls not only for effective measures of oversight bygovernments, but also for a high standard of ethical conduct on the part of financialleaders themselves. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 63 Session of the UN General Assembly on the global financial crisis, rd New York, October 30, 2008 *The most important function of finance is to sustain the possibility of long-terminvestment and hence of development. Today this appears extremely fragile: it isexperiencing the negative repercussions of a system of financial dealings –bothnational and global– based upon very short-term thinking, which aims at increasingthe value of financial operations and concentrates on the technical management ofvarious forms of risk. The recent crisis demonstrates how financial activity can attimes be completely turned in on itself, lacking any long-term consideration of thecommon good. This lowering of the objectives of global finance to the very shortterm reduces its capacity to function as a bridge between the present and the future,and as a stimulus to the creation of new opportunities for production and for workin the long term. Finance limited in this way to the short and very short term 11
  • 16. becomes dangerous for everyone, even for those who benefit when the marketsperform well. Benedict XVI, Message for the celebration of the XLII World Day of Peace, n. 10, January 1, 2009 *It cannot be denied that policies which place too much emphasis on assistance underliemany of the failures in providing aid to poor countries. Investing in the formation ofpeople and developing a specific and well-integrated culture of enterprise would seemat present to be the right approach in the medium and long term. If economic activitiesrequire a favourable context in order to develop, this must not distract attention fromthe need to generate revenue. While it has been rightly emphasized that increasing percapita income cannot be the ultimate goal of political and economic activity, it is still animportant means of attaining the objective of the fight against hunger and absolutepoverty. Hence, the illusion that a policy of mere redistribution of existing wealth candefinitively resolve the problem must be set aside. In a modern economy, the value ofassets is utterly dependent on the capacity to generate revenue in the present and thefuture. Wealth creation therefore becomes an inescapable duty, which must be kept inmind if the fight against material poverty is to be effective in the long term. Benedict XVI, Message for the celebration of the XLII World Day of Peace, n. 11, January 1, 2009,CompaniesWhen we consider the issues involved in the relationship between business and ethics, aswell as the evolution currently taking place in methods of production, it would appearthat the traditionally valid distinction between profit-based companies and non-profitorganizations can no longer do full justice to reality, or offer practical direction for thefuture. In recent decades a broad intermediate area has emerged between the two typesof enterprise. It is made up of traditional companies which nonetheless subscribe tosocial aid agreements in support of underdeveloped countries […] This is not merelya matter of a “third sector”, but of a broad new composite reality embracing the privateand public spheres, one which does not exclude profit, but instead considers it a meansfor achieving human and social ends. […] It is to be hoped that these new kinds ofenterprise will succeed in finding a suitable juridical and fiscal structure in everycountry. Without prejudice to the importance and the economic and social benefits ofthe more traditional forms of business, they steer the system towards a clearer andmore complete assumption of duties on the part of economic subjects. And not onlythat. The very plurality of institutional forms of business gives rise to a market which is not onlymore civilized but also more competitive. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 46 12
  • 17. In order to promote development at the macroeconomic level it seems necessary toreinforce the productive capacity of the poorer countries by means of investment intechnical formation; this allows for competition in today’s knowledge-based economyand gives support to enterprises that create new jobs and decent work. In this regard,trans-national corporations carry a particular responsibility to facilitate the transfer oftechnology, sponsor capacity building in management, and enable local partners toprovide more employment opportunities. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the Ministerial Segment of the ECOSOC Session of 2007 Fund, Geneva, July 4, 2007WorkNo consideration of the problems associated with development could fail to highlightthe direct link between poverty and unemployment. In many cases, poverty results froma violation of the dignity of human work, either because work opportunities are limited(through unemployment or underemployment), or “because a low value is put onwork and the rights that flow from it, especially the right to a just wage and to thepersonal security of the worker and his or her family”. For this reason, on 1 May2000 on the occasion of the Jubilee of Workers, my venerable predecessor Pope JohnPaul II issued an appeal for “a global coalition in favour of ‘decent work‘”,supporting the strategy of the International Labour Organization. In this way, hegave a strong moral impetus to this objective, seeing it as an aspiration of families inevery country of the world. What is meant by the word “decent” in regard to work?It means work that expresses the essential dignity of every man and woman in thecontext of their particular society: work that is freely chosen, effectively associatingworkers, both men and women, with the development of their community; workthat enables the worker to be respected and free from any form of discrimination;work that makes it possible for families to meet their needs and provide schoolingfor their children, without the children themselves being forced into labour; workthat permits the workers to organize themselves freely, and to make their voicesheard; work that leaves enough room for rediscovering one’s roots at a personal,familial and spiritual level; work that guarantees those who have retired a decentstandard of living. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 63 *I am therefore keen to remind the distinguished participants of the G8 that themeasure of technical efficacy of the provisions to adopt in order to emerge from thecrisis coincides with the measure of its ethical value. In other words, it is necessary tobear in mind practical human and family needs. I refer, for example, to the effectivecreation of positions for all, that enable workers to provide fittingly for their family’s 13
  • 18. needs and to fulfil their primary responsibility as educators of their children andprotagonists in the community to which they belong. “A society in which this right issystematically denied”, John Paul II wrote, “in which economic policies do not allowworkers to reach satisfactory levels of employment, cannot be justified from an ethicalpoint of view, nor can that society attain social peace” (Centesimus Annus, n. 43; cf.,Laborem Excercens, n. 18). Benedict XVI, Letter to Hon. Mr Silvio Berlusconi, Prime Minister of Italy, on the occasion of the G8 Summit (L’Aquila, 8-10 July 2009), July 1, 2009 *The Holy See, while praising all efforts to improve working conditions, particularlyas regards the poor, and the introduction of new parameters, such as the proposedinstrument for the protection of national workers, emphasizes the need to recognizethat a strategy focused on the job must put the person, not the task, the centre of theproduction process. If you do this, then the decor takes on a new importance and adeeper meaning because it is tied directly to the person and his dignity. Fact, is thedignity of the person providing the basis for establishing the parameters that makedecent job. [...] So a decent job is the main road to overcome the current crisis, astrategy that may well create the conditions for stable economic development andlasting. We have to bet on the creative work of the person and his talent. […] Thesecond element in the strategy for the overcoming should be to outlines policyinitiatives that pay particular attention to supporting small and medium enterprises. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 98 Session of the International Labour Conference, th Geneva, June 10, 2009 *Working parents, both women and men, should be assisted, if necessary by law, tobring their own unique and irreplaceable contribution to the upbringing of theirchildren, to the evident benefit of the whole of society […] The Holy See understandsdecent work as that which is both properly remunerated and worthy of the humanperson. Work is a right but it is also the duty of all people to contribute to the good oftheir society and the whole human family. Work is dignified by the people who do it;but it must also be dignified in itself. Full employment and decent work cannot includework that is not as safe as possible, justly remunerated or worthy of the human person.If work is an essential part of our human vocation, only decent work in this sense canever be suitable for the promotion of human dignity and the achievement of socialdevelopment. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 45 Session of the ECOSOC Commission for Social Development, th Geneva, February 8, 2007 14
  • 19. The work plays a crucial role in the life of every person who, as a protagonist, showsthat the dignity of labour is linked to the dignity of the human person. Through workpeople engage in their own development and production and exchange of goods andservices and, therefore, the life of their societies as a key architect of development. Theachievement of high levels of quality and dignity of work can not be separated from theissue of health and education. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the XII Session of the Conference of UNCTAD, Accra, 20-25 April 2008 *In the current debate on international labour market, all suggestions should take intoaccount two fundamental facts. First, the importance of “subjective dimension” ofwork. What gives value to work is not his product, but whoever does it. This allows usto speak of the dignity of work. Without this subjective dimension with any concern forthe dignity of work because the only important dimension that becomes linked toeconomic productivity. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 97 Session of the International Labour Conference, th Geneva, June 10, 2008 *The trust between the parties, rather than captured data, is essential in employment. Thepersistence of poverty, unemployment and social disintegration is the result of themistrust and lack of correct relations between the various components of economic andsocial mechanisms. The lack of mutual trust between the parties also means a lack ofconfidence in the future and this, in turn, means no job security. People, especially youngpeople seeking their first job, they discover the meaning of the future and trust in it whenthey find a long term employment with the opportunity of a well-deserved promotion. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 46 Session of the ECOSOC Commission for Social Development, th Geneva, February 7, 2008Human PersonIn development programmes, the principle of the centrality of the human person, as thesubject primarily responsible for development, must be preserved. The principalconcern must be to improve the actual living conditions of the people in a given region,thus enabling them to carry out those duties which their poverty does not presentlyallow them to fulfil. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 47 15
  • 20. I would like to remind everyone, especially to governments involved to write a profilefor renewed economic and social arrangements in the world, the first capitalpreservation and promotion of the man, the person, in its entirety: ‘The man is theauthor, the centre and goal of all socio-economic life‘. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 25 *Guiding principles of assistance both in natural and human-made disasters need to beimplemented but before all, we must put at the centre of all our interventions the personand her material, psychological and spiritual needs. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the Humanitarian Affairs Segment of the UN Economic and Social Council, Geneva, July 20, 2009 *Only the protection of person, therefore, can combat the root cause of hunger, namelythe closure of human being against their own kind that dissolves solidarity, justifiesthe ways of life and consumer disrupts the social fabric, preserving, if not evendeepening the wake of unjust balances and neglecting the deeper needs of theproperty […] The defence of human dignity in international action, includingemergency help, also to measure the superfluous in view of the need of others and toadminister according to justice the fruits of creation, placing them available to allgenerations. Benedict XVI, Message to the High-Level Conference on World Food Security sponsored by FAO, Rome, 3-5 June 2008 *In this age of increased economic interconnection must make efforts to ensureconsiderable attention to a development approach that focuses on man. In the world,millions of children have no access to ways or means to help them forge a better futurefor themselves and for their community. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy Seeat the 63 Session of UN General Assembly on the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights, rd New York, October 28, 2008 *All the nations of the world and its specialized agencies must commit to “the integraldevelopment of the human, economic progress and social development of all peoples.”All nations are called to recognize that “the human person is the central subject of thedevelopment process and therefore the policies for the development of the humanbeing must do the main participant and beneficiary of development.” This type ofapproach “human” and “integral” should inform themselves of the policies and 16
  • 21. projects to achieve the second Millennium Development Goals: universal primaryeducation. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 48 International Conference on Education of UNESCO, th Paris, October 26, 2008 *An effective campaign against hunger thus demands far more than a mere scientificstudy to confront climate change or give priority to the agricultural production of food.It is necessary first of all to rediscover the meaning of the human person, in hisindividual and community dimensions, from the founding of family life, a source oflove and affection from which the sense of solidarity and sharing develop. This settingsatisfies the need to build relations between peoples, based on constant and authenticavailability, to enable each country to satisfy the requirements of needy people but alsoto transmit the idea of relations based on a reciprocal exchange of knowledge, values,rapid assistance and respect. Benedict XVI, Message on the occasion of World Food Day, October 13, 2008PopulationThe notion of rights and duties in development must also take account of the problemsassociated with population growth. This is a very important aspect of authenticdevelopment, since it concerns the inalienable values of life and the family. To considerpopulation increase as the primary cause of underdevelopment is mistaken, even froman economic point of view. Suffice it to consider, on the one hand, the significantreduction in infant mortality and the rise in average life expectancy found ineconomically developed countries, and on the other hand, the signs of crisis observablein societies that are registering an alarming decline in their birth rate. Due attentionmust obviously be given to responsible procreation, which among other things has apositive contribution to make to integral human development. The Church, in herconcern for man’s authentic development, urges him to have full respect for humanvalues in the exercise of his sexuality. It cannot be reduced merely to pleasure orentertainment, nor can sex education be reduced to technical instruction aimed solelyat protecting the interested parties from possible disease or the “risk” of procreation.This would be to impoverish and disregard the deeper meaning of sexuality, a meaningwhich needs to be acknowledged and responsibly appropriated not only by individualsbut also by the community. It is irresponsible to view sexuality merely as a source ofpleasure, and likewise to regulate it through strategies of mandatory birth control. Ineither case materialistic ideas and policies are at work, and individuals are ultimatelysubjected to various forms of violence. Against such policies, there is a need to defendthe primary competence of the family in the area of sexuality, as opposed to the State 17
  • 22. and its restrictive policies, and to ensure that parents are suitably prepared to undertaketheir responsibilities. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 44Food SecurityThe goods of nature are meant for everyone in the world community and economic lifeshould be oriented towards the sharing of these assets towards their sustainable useand equitable sharing of benefits arising from. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 44 *Resources to solve the problem of poverty do exist, even in the face of an increasingpopulation. Nor must it be forgotten that, since the end of the Second World War, theworld’s population has grown by four billion, largely because of certain countries thathave recently emerged on the international scene as new economic powers, and haveexperienced rapid development specifically because of the large number of theirinhabitants. Moreover, among the most developed nations, those with higherbirth-rates enjoy better opportunities for development. In other words, population isproving to be an asset, not a factor that contributes to poverty. Benedict XVI, Message for the celebration of the XLII World Day of Peace, n. 3, January 1, 2009 *The objective of eradicating hunger and at the same time of being able to providehealthy and sufficient food also demands specific methods and actions that mean awise use of resources that respect Creation’s patrimony. The result of working in thisdirection will benefit not only science, research and technology, but also take intoaccount the cycles and rhythm of nature known to the inhabitants of rural areas, thusprotecting the traditional customs of the indigenous communities, leaving asideegotistical and exclusively economic motivations. Benedict XVI, Message on the occasion of World Food Day, October 4, 2007 * Questions linked to the care and preservation of the environment today need to give dueconsideration to the energy problem […] The international community has an urgent dutyto find institutional means of regulating the exploitation of non-renewable resources,involving poor countries in the process, in order to plan together for the future. On thisfront too, there is a pressing moral need for renewed solidarity, especially in relationshipsbetween developing countries and those that are highly industrialized. Thetechnologically advanced societies can and must lower their domestic energy 18
  • 23. consumption, either through an evolution in manufacturing methods or through greaterecological sensitivity among their citizens. It should be added that at present it is possibleto achieve improved energy efficiency while at the same time encouraging research intoalternative forms of energy. What is also needed, though, is a worldwide redistributionof energy resources, so that countries lacking those resources can have access to them. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 49 *One area where there is a particular need to intensify dialogue between nations is thatof the stewardship of the earth’s energy resources. The technologically advanced countriesare facing two pressing needs in this regard: on the one hand, to reassess the high levelsof consumption due to the present model of development, and on the other hand toinvest sufficient resources in the search for alternative sources of energy and for greaterenergy efficiency. The emerging counties are hungry for energy, but at times thishunger is met in a way harmful to poor countries which, due to their insufficientinfrastructures, including their technological infrastructures, are forced to undersellthe energy resources they do possess. At times, their very political freedom iscompromised by forms of protectorate or, in any case, by forms of conditioning whichappear clearly humiliating. Benedict XVI, Message for the celebration of the World Day of Peace, n. 8, January 1, 2008 *Availability of and access to energy has a profound positive impact on health,education, nutrition and income opportunities. Improving access to energy requiresbetter infrastructure, ensured by appropriate legal and institutional “frameworks”. Thisinevitably needs the involvement of local institutions, which can more easily identifythe type of energy, including the forms of financing and marketing most appropriatefor the complex realities of the zone. Where this access is denied to the poor or delayeddue to various reasons, more efficient and sustainable use of traditional energyresources should be promoted, existing energy efficiency improved and conservationby relying on a mix of available technologies encouraged. […] The field of renewableenergy presents a challenge and an opportunity for Governments and all other relevantstakeholders, including the private sector, civil society and international organizations,to work together to address this pressing challenge. The common initiatives ofrenewable energy should also be based on “intergenerational justice” since the energyconsumption pattern of today impacts future generations. We should not burden futuregenerations with our overstated energy consumption. Therefore a change of lifestyle isimperative in this regard. In this way, renewable energy programs will ensure an“intergenerational solidarity” beyond national and economic boundaries.Finally, for successful renewable energy programs, proper energy consciousnesseducation and ongoing energy learning are vital. In this regard, civil society and 19
  • 24. faith-based organizations can contribute a great deal to raising awareness about andadvocating for the use of renewable energy sources at the grass-roots level. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 64 Session of the UN General Assembly on item 53: th Promotion of New and Renewable Sources of Energy, New York, November 3, 2009Food SafetyAccess to food, rather than a primary need, is a fundamental right of individuals andpeoples. It can become a reality and a security if it is guaranteed a satisfactorydevelopment in all regions. In particular, the tragedy of hunger can be overcome only“by eliminating the structural causes that provoke and promote agriculturaldevelopment in poorer countries through investment in rural investment in ruralinfrastructure in irrigation system in transport, organization of market training anddissemination of appropriate agricultural techniques, that is able to harness the human,natural and socio-economic more accessible locally. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 27 *The considerations of a purely technical or economic should not override the duties ofjustice toward those who suffer from hunger. The right to “respond mainly to ethicaljustification: ‘give food to the hungry’ (cf. Mt 25, 35), which leads to share the tangiblesign of what we all need [...] This law Primary Food is intrinsically linked to theprotection and defence of human life, rock solid and inviolable which rests the wholeedifice of human rights. Benedict XVI, Message to the High-Level Conference on World Food Security sponsored by FAO, Rome, 3-5 June 2008 *Ensure individuals and peoples an opportunity to defeat the scourge of hunger meansensuring their access to adequate and practical healthy eating. This is, in fact, a concretemanifestation of the right to life, which, while solemnly proclaimed, is too often farfrom full implementation. Benedict XVI, Message for the World Food Day, October 16, 2009 *The call to solidarity operates, in fact, can mean to the world, gives meaning andprimary importance to the work of farmers as an essential economic activity. This placesthe goal of food security in a climate of respect and mutual love of authentic sharing, 20
  • 25. recognizing and reinforcing the truth of the fundamental dignity and equality of everyperson. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 29 FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific, th Bangkok, March 28, 2009 *Food security is the outcome of a special commitment in finding the most adequateengagement to carry out, with effectiveness and coherence, programs that grant orimprove the fundamental right of each individual and community to be free from hunger. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 29 Session of the FAO Regional Conference for the Near East, th Cairo, 1–5 March, 2008 *An ordered research aimed at improving agricultural production so as to meet thegrowing food demand, must not forget the reasons of food security which is theconsumers’ health, nor crop sustainability, i.e. the environmental protection. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 35th Special Session of the FAO Conference, Rome, November 20, 2008 *The responsibility to protect the climate requires us to further deepen the interactionsbetween food security and climate change, focusing on the centrality of the human person,in particular on the most vulnerable populations, often located in rural areas of developingcountries. The strategies to confront the challenges of food security and climate change,through synergic actions of adaptation and mitigation, must take into account thecentrality of these populations, respecting their culture and traditional customs. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy Seeat the Second Committee of the 63 Session of the UN General Assembly on sustainable development, rd New York, October 28, 2008 *The problem of food insecurity needs to be addressed within a long-term perspective,eliminating the structural causes that give rise to it and promoting the agriculturaldevelopment of poorer countries. This can be done by investing in rural infrastructures,irrigation systems, transport, organization of markets, and in the development anddissemination of agricultural technology that can make the best use of the human,natural and socio-economic resources that are more readily available at the local level,while guaranteeing their sustainability over the long term as well. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 27 21
  • 26. If the aim is the elimination of hunger, international action is called not only toencourage the sustainable and balanced economic growth and political stability, butalso to seek new standards -and then necessarily ethical legal and economic- that caninspire the ‘cooperative activities to build an equal relationship between countries thatare in a different stage of development. [...] To fight hunger by promoting integralhuman development, we must also understand the needs of rural as well as prevent thetrend towards decreasing the contribution of donors creates uncertainty in the fundingof cooperative activities; go averted the danger that the rural world be considered, asa short-sighted, as secondary. At the same time, it should facilitate access to theinternational market for products from the poorest areas, now often relegated to limitedspace. To achieve these objectives is necessary to strip the rules of international tradeto profit-making end in itself, directing them to the economic development of thecountries most in need, who, it provides more revenue, may proceed to sufficientlythat is a prelude to food safety. [...] By the Catholic Church there will always focus onefforts to eradicate hunger and we will be committed to support, by word and deed, theconsolidated action -planned, responsible and regulated- that all components of theinternational community will be called upon to undertake. The Church does notpresume to interfere in political decisions, it is respectful of knowledge and results ofscience as well as the choices are determined by a responsible right when illuminatedby authentic human values, joins the effort to eliminate hunger. This is the mostimmediate and concrete sign of solidarity inspired by love, a sign that leaves no roomfor delays and compromises. Such solidarity is relying on technology, laws andinstitutions to meet the aspirations of people, communities and entire peoples, butshould not exclude the religious dimension, with its powerful spiritual force and thepromotion of the human person. Recognizing the transcendent value of every man andevery woman is the first step to encourage that change of heart that can sustain thecommitment to eradicate poverty, hunger and poverty in all its forms. Benedict XVI, Visit to the Palace of the FAO for the 36th Session of the General Conference of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, November 16, 2009Solidarity and CooperationTrue solidarity, though it begins with the recognition of the equal worth of the takesplace only when I willingly place my life in the service of them (cf. Eph 6, 21). This isthe vertical dimension of solidarity: I am moved to make me less of the other to meettheir needs (cf. Jn 13, 14-15), just as Jesus “humbled himself” to allow men and womento in his divine life with the Father and the Spirit (cf. Phil 2, 8, Mt 23, 12). Benedict XVI, Address to participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, May 3, 2008 22
  • 27. It should be a spirit of solidarity conducive to promoting as those ethical principles donot “negotiable” for their nature and their role as the foundation of social life. Solidarityimbued with strong sense of fraternal love leads to appreciate the initiatives of othersto facilitate and cooperate with them. Benedict XVI, Address to participants in the NGO Forum of Catholic inspiration, December 1, 2007 *Peace is a commitment and a way of life which demands that you meet the legitimateexpectations of all, such as access to food, water and energy, medicine and technology,and the monitoring of climate change. Only then can we build the future of humanity,the only way to foster the integral development for today and tomorrow. Forging aparticularly happy, Pope Paul VI pointed out 40 years ago, in the encyclical PopulorumProgressio, that “development is the new name of peace.” For that reason, consolidatingpeace requires that the macroeconomic results, obtained by several developingcountries in 2007, is supported by effective social policies, and the laying of assistancecommitments by rich countries. Benedict XVI, Address to the Diplomatic Corps, January 7, 2008 *In those countries whose population is majority Christian, the call to share is even moreurgent, since their responsibility toward the many who suffer poverty andabandonment is even greater. To come to their aid is a duty of justice even prior tobeing an act of charity […] If, in accomplishing a good deed, we do not have as ourgoal God’s glory and the real well being of our brothers and sisters, looking rather fora return of personal interest or simply of applause, we place ourselves outside of theGospel vision. In today’s world of images, attentive vigilance is required, since thistemptation is great. Almsgiving, according to the Gospel, is not mere philanthropy:rather it is a concrete expression of charity, a theological virtue that demands interiorconversion to love of God and neighbour. Benedict XVI, Message for the Lent, 2008 *The principle of subsidiarity must remain closely linked to the principle of solidarity and viceversa, since the former without the latter gives way to social privatism, while the latterwithout the former gives way to paternalist social assistance that is demeaning to thosein need. This general rule must also be taken broadly into consideration when addressingissues concerning international development aid […] Aid programmes must increasinglyacquire the characteristics of participation and completion from the grass roots. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 58 23
  • 28. Perhaps it is necessary to direct aid to more targeted and less generic projects that canbring about tangible, measurable and empowering change in the daily life-experienceof individuals and families and in the social fabric of the community. Directing aid tothe creation of jobs would fall within this approach. Such effective aid requires multiplechannels of distribution and should reach the basic infrastructure of communities thatis assured not only by governments but also by community-based organizations andinstitutions, including those sponsored by faith-groups, such as schools, hospitals andclinics, community centres, and youth training and recreation programs. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the Ministerial Segment of the ECOSOC Session of 2007 Fund, Geneva, July 4, 2007SubsidiaritySolidarity and subsidiarity can be viewed as complementary. While the former relatesto the mobilization of financial and human resources for development, the latter helpsto identify the most appropriate level of decision-making and intervention. Theprinciple of subsidiarity can therefore be seen as a cross-cutting criterion for the creationof the enabling environment to the right to development. It allows the participation ofthe beneficiaries of aid in the process of development through the responsible use oftheir freedom and talents. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy Seeat the 12 Ordinary Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on the right to development, th Geneva, September 22, 2009 *Subsidiarity is first and foremost a form of assistance to the human person via theautonomy of intermediate bodies. Such assistance is offered when individuals orgroups are unable to accomplish something on their own, and it is always designed toachieve their emancipation, because it fosters freedom and participation throughassumption of responsibility. Subsidiarity respects personal dignity by recognizing inthe person a subject who is always capable of giving something to others. Byconsidering reciprocity as the heart of what it is to be a human being, subsidiarity is themost effective antidote against any form of all-encompassing welfare state. It is able totake account both of the manifold articulation of plans —and therefore of the pluralityof subjects— as well as the coordination of those plans. Hence the principle ofsubsidiarity is particularly well-suited to managing globalization and directing ittowards authentic human development. In order not to produce a dangerous universalpower of a tyrannical nature, the governance of globalization must be marked by subsidiarity,articulated into several layers and involving different levels that can work together.Globalization certainly requires authority, insofar as it poses the problem of a globalcommon good that needs to be pursued. This authority, however, must be organized 24
  • 29. in a subsidiary and stratified way, if it is not to infringe upon freedom and if it is to yieldeffective results in practice. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 57 *The principle of subsidiarity must remain closely linked to the principle of solidarity and viceversa, since the former without the latter gives way to social privatism, while the latterwithout the former gives way to paternalist social assistance that is demeaning to thosein need. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 58 *A society that honours the principle of subsidiarity liberates people from a sense ofdespondency and hopelessness, granting them the freedom to engage with one anotherin the spheres of commerce, politics and culture (cf. Quadragesimo Anno, 80). Whenthose responsible for the public good attune themselves to the natural human desirefor self-governance based on subsidiarity, they leave space for individual responsibilityand initiative, but most importantly, they leave space for love (cf. Rom 13:8; Deus Caritasest, 28). Benedict XVI, Address to the participants in the 14th Session of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, May 3, 2008 *The principle of subsidiarity requires that governments and large international agenciesensure solidarity on the national and global levels and between generations. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 63 Session of the UN General Assembly on the global financial crisis, rd New York, October 30, 2008Human DevelopmentIn the present social and cultural context, where there is a widespread tendency torelativize truth, practising charity in truth helps people to understand that adhering tothe values of Christianity is not merely useful but essential for building a good societyand for true integral human development. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 4 *Truth, and the love which it reveals, cannot be produced: they can only be received asa gift. Their ultimate source is not, and cannot be, mankind, but only God, who ishimself Truth and Love. This principle is extremely important for society and for 25
  • 30. development, since neither can be a purely human product; the vocation todevelopment on the part of individuals and peoples is not based simply on humanchoice, but is an intrinsic part of a plan that is prior to us and constitutes for all of us aduty to be freely accepted. That which is prior to us and constitutes us —subsistentLove and Truth— shows us what goodness is, and in what our true happiness consists.It shows us the road to true development. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 52 *Yet it should be stressed that progress of a merely economic and technological kind isinsufficient. Development needs above all to be true and integral. The mere fact ofemerging from economic backwardness, though positive in itself, does not resolve thecomplex issues of human advancement. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 23 *The imbalance lies both in the cultural and political order and in the spiritual andmoral order. In fact we often consider only the superficial and instrumental causes ofpoverty without attending to those harboured within the human heart, like greed andnarrow vision. The problems of development, aid and international cooperation aresometimes addressed without any real attention to the human element, but as merelytechnical questions – limited, that is, to establishing structures, setting up tradeagreements, and allocating funding impersonally. What the fight against povertyreally needs are men and women who live in a profoundly fraternal way and are ableto accompany individuals, families and communities on journeys of authentic humandevelopment. Benedict XVI, Message for the Celebration of the XLII World Day of Peace, January 1, 2009 *The nuclear policy should be considered in the perspective of overall development ofthe human being “(Declaration on the Right to Development, 1986, p. 5), which impliesnot only material development but, more importantly, the cultural and moral duty toany person and all peoples. We are all involved in this ambitious and vital, outside andinside the nuclear industry, as well as in the public and private, both inside and outsidegovernment. Thus, a common commitment to peace and security can lead not only toequitable distribution of resources of the earth, but above all, building a “social andinternational order in which rights and freedoms” of all persons human can fully realize(Universal Declaration of Human Rights, art. 28). Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 53 General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency, rd Vienna, 14-18 September 2009 26
  • 31. Integral human development presupposes the responsible freedom of the individual and ofpeoples: no structure can guarantee this development over and above humanresponsibility. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 17 *Development will never be fully guaranteed through automatic or impersonal forces,whether they derive from the market or from international politics. Development isimpossible without upright men and women, without financiers and politicians whoseconsciences are finely attuned to the requirements of the common good. Both professionalcompetence and moral consistency are necessary. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 71 *Projects for integral human development cannot ignore coming generations, but needto be marked by solidarity and inter-generational justice, while taking into account a varietyof contexts: ecological, juridical, economic, political and cultural. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 48 *In this last decade, a broad consensus on the commitment to promote the developmentwas expressed in combating poverty and promoting inclusion and participation of allpeople and all social groups. This consensus is also formalized in the MillenniumDeclaration of 2000. Development objectives enshrined therein are defined byreference to specific indicators and goals. Constant monitoring of results is importantto make more humane living conditions for all. Moreover, the interest in obtainingquantitative or measurable results should not distract our attention and our policies byobtaining a comprehensive development. Monitoring the Millennium DevelopmentGoals is discovered that it is relatively easy to achieve the goals pursued throughtechnical measures that require, above all, material resources and organization.However, the pursuit of objectives and, ultimately, development and social cohesionrequires not only financial, but also the effective involvement of people. The ultimatepurpose and content of development programs should be to give people realopportunities to shape their lives and be actors for development. What seems missingin the fight against poverty, inequality and discrimination, is not so much financialassistance, or economic cooperation and legal assistance, essential as relationalnetworks and people can share their lives with those who are in situations of povertyand exclusion, individuals capable of action and presence, whose work is recognizedby local, national and global. [...] The Holy See and the various institutions of theChurch remains committed to this task. Through programs, agencies andorganizations on every continent, who have been forgotten by many in society areidentified and incorporated into the social stream. With this common effort, the lessonslearned from those who are marginalized validate the truth that poverty eradication, 27
  • 32. full employment and social integration is achieved when the clarity of purpose willcomplement efforts of the spirit. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 47 Session of the Commission for Social Development th of the UN Economic and Social Council, New York, February 5, 2009 *Each state is required to pursue the development and the common good of the peopleand not the national power, whether economic or military purposes, the essential pointof reference is, in fact, the human person, his dignity and his fundamental rights. Thisapproach must be stamped on the development and implementation of a newparadigm of collective security in which each country recognizes the clear limitationsof relying on nuclear weapons for its security. [...] Need to reject the temptation to facenew situations with old systems. We must redefine the priorities and hierarchies ofvalues by which mobilize resources towards objectives of moral, cultural and economic,on the basis that development, solidarity and justice are not merely the real name ofpeace, lasting peace in time and space. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 53 General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency, rd Vienna, 14-18 September 2009Rural DevelopmentWe must increase the availability of food valuing the industriousness of small farmersand ensuring market access. The overall increase in agricultural production may,however, be effective only if it is accompanied by effective distribution of thatproduction and whether it will be devoted primarily to the satisfaction of basic needs[...] to rediscover the value of the rural family: it does not only preserve thetransmission from parents to children, systems of cultivation, conservation anddistribution of food, but primarily a way of life, education, culture and religion. Also,economically, ensure effective and loving attention to the weakest and, under theprinciple of subsidiarity, can play a direct role in the chain of distribution andmarketing of agricultural products for use in reducing the costs of intermediation andpromoting small-scale production. Benedict XVI, Message to the High-Level Conference on World Food Security sponsored by FAO, Rome, 3-5 June 2008 *We are facing a process of redefining the global cycle of production and marketing ofagricultural products, which urges us to serious reflection on its consequences and 28
  • 33. what might be new balanced solutions. It is at these levels that we must work to createa new economy, more attention not only to profit, but, above all, needs and humanrelations. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 64 Session of the General Assembly, Second Committee on Item 60: th “Agricultural Development and Food Security”, New York, October 23, 2009 *One essential condition for increasing production levels, for guaranteeing the identityof indigenous communities as well as peace and security in the world, is to guaranteeaccess to land, thereby favouring farm workers and upholding their rights. Benedict XVI, Message on the occasion of World Food Day, October 13, 2008 *Farming must have access to adequate investments and resources. This topic calls intoquestion and makes clear that by their nature the goods of creation are limited: theytherefore require responsible attitudes capable of encouraging the sought-after security,thinking likewise of that of future generations. Thus profound solidarity and farsightedbrotherhood are essential [...] such an intervention may encourage cooperation with aview to protecting the methods of cultivating the land proper to each region and toavoiding a heedless use of natural resources. I also hope that this cooperation willpreserve the values proper to the rural world and the fundamental rights of those whowork the land. By setting aside privileges, profit and convenience, it will then bepossible to achieve these objectives for the benefit of the men, women, children, familiesand communities that live in the poorest regions of the planet and are the mostvulnerable. Experience shows that even advanced technical solutions lack efficiency ifthey do not put the person first and foremost, who comes first and who, in his or herspiritual and physical dimensions, is the alpha and the omega of all activity. Benedict XVI, Message on the occasion of World Food Day, October 16, 2009 29
  • 34. ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUESEnvironmentToday the subject of development is also closely related to the duties arising from ourrelationship to the natural environment. The environment is God’s gift to everyone, andin our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generationsand towards humanity as a whole. When nature, including the human being, is viewedas the result of mere chance or evolutionary determinism, our sense of responsibilitywanes. In nature, the believer recognizes the wonderful result of God’s creativeactivity, which we may use responsibly to satisfy our legitimate needs, material orotherwise, while respecting the intrinsic balance of creation. If this vision is lost, we endup either considering nature an untouchable taboo or, on the contrary, abusing it.Neither attitude is consonant with the Christian vision of nature as the fruit of God’screation.Nature expresses a design of love and truth. It is prior to us, and it has been given to us byGod as the setting for our life. Nature speaks to us of the Creator (cf. Rom 1:20) and hislove for humanity. It is destined to be “recapitulated” in Christ at the end of time (cf.Eph 1:9-10; Col 1:19-20). Thus it too is a “vocation”. Nature is at our disposal not as “aheap of scattered refuse, but as a gift of the Creator who has given it an inbuilt order,enabling man to draw from it the principles needed in order “to till it and keep it” (Gen2:15). But it should also be stressed that it is contrary to authentic development to viewnature as something more important than the human person. This position leads toattitudes of neo-paganism or a new pantheism —human salvation cannot come fromnature alone, understood in a purely naturalistic sense. This having been said, it is alsonecessary to reject the opposite position, which aims at total technical dominion overnature, because the natural environment is more than raw material to be manipulatedat our pleasure; it is a wondrous work of the Creator containing a “grammar” whichsets forth ends and criteria for its wise use, not its reckless exploitation. Today muchharm is done to development precisely as a result of these distorted notions. Reducingnature merely to a collection of contingent data ends up doing violence to theenvironment and even encouraging activity that fails to respect human nature itself.Our nature, constituted not only by matter but also by spirit, and as such, endowedwith transcendent meaning and aspirations, is also normative for culture. Humanbeings interpret and shape the natural environment through culture, which in turn isgiven direction by the responsible use of freedom, in accordance with the dictates of themoral law. Consequently, projects for integral human development cannot ignorecoming generations, but need to be marked by solidarity and inter-generational justice,while taking into account a variety of contexts: ecological, juridical, economic, politicaland cultural. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 48 31
  • 35. While the entire human race is called to acknowledge its obligations to futuregenerations, it is also true that States and international organizations have a duty toprotect the environment as a shared good. In this context, the links betweenenvironmental security and the disturbing phenomenon of climate change need to beexplored further, focusing on the central importance of the human person, andespecially of the populations most at risk from both phenomena. Norms, legislation,development plans and investments are not enough, however: what is needed is achange in the lifestyles of individuals and communities, in habits of consumption andin perceptions of what is genuinely needed. Most of all, there is a moral duty todistinguish between good and evil in human action, so as to rediscover the bond ofcommunion that unites the human person and creation. Benedict XVI, Address to FAO on the occasion of the World Summit on Food Security, Rome, November 16, 2009 *International action to preserve the environment and to protect various forms of life onearth must not only guarantee a rational use of technology and science, but must alsorediscover the authentic image of creation. This never requires a choice to be madebetween science and ethics: rather it is a question of adopting a scientific method thatis truly respectful of ethical imperatives. Benedict XVI, Address to UN General Assembly, New York, 18 April 2008 *The requirement underlying all of these steps is to give man truly humane places, fortoday and for the future. We are all responsible for protecting the planet and we mustdevelop a culture of protecting the earth. Although urbanization now occupies muchspace, we should nevertheless have due consideration of the agricultural world and ofthe rural residents, because they have a role in protecting nature and can help us toeducate younger generations to be ever more responsible for our land. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the General Policy Debate of the 34 Session of the General Conference of UNESCO, th Paris, October 22, 2007Human EcologyThe Church has a responsibility towards creation and she must assert this responsibilityin the public sphere. In so doing, she must defend not only earth, water and air asgifts of creation that belong to everyone. She must above all protect mankind fromself-destruction. There is need for what might be called a human ecology, correctlyunderstood. The deterioration of nature is in fact closely connected to the culture thatshapes human coexistence: when “human ecology” is respected within society, 32
  • 36. environmental ecology also benefits. Just as human virtues are interrelated, such thatthe weakening of one places others at risk, so the ecological system is based onrespect for a plan that affects both the health of society and its good relationship withnature.In order to protect nature, it is not enough to intervene with economic incentives ordeterrents; not even an apposite education is sufficient. These are important steps, butthe decisive issue is the overall moral tenor of society. If there is a lack of respect for the rightto life and to a natural death, if human conception, gestation and birth are madeartificial, if human embryos are sacrificed to research, the conscience of society ends uplosing the concept of human ecology and, along with it, that of environmental ecology.It is contradictory to insist that future generations respect the natural environmentwhen our educational systems and laws do not help them to respect themselves. Thebook of nature is one and indivisible: it takes in not only the environment but also life,sexuality, marriage, the family, social relations: in a word, integral human development.Our duties towards the environment are linked to our duties towards the humanperson, considered in himself and in relation to others. It would be wrong to upholdone set of duties while trampling on the other. Herein lies a grave contradiction in ourmentality and practice today: one which demeans the person, disrupts the environmentand damages society. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 51 *Every form of externally imposed poverty has at its root a lack of respect for thetranscendent dignity of the human person. When man is not considered within thetotal context of his vocation, and when the demands of a true “human ecology” are notrespected, the cruel forces of poverty are unleashed, as is evident in certain specificareas that I shall now consider briefly one by one. Benedict XVI, Message for the celebration of the XLII World Day of Peace, n. 2, January 1, 2009 *In the name of freedom, there has to be a correlation between rights and duties, bywhich every person is called to assume responsibility for his or her choices, made as aconsequence of entering into relations with others. Here our thoughts turn also to theway the results of scientific research and technological advances have sometimes beenapplied. Notwithstanding the enormous benefits that humanity can gain, someinstances of this represent a clear violation of the order of creation, to the point wherenot only is the sacred character of life contradicted, but the human person and thefamily are robbed of their natural identity. Benedict XVI, Address to UN General Assembly, New York, April 18, 2008 33
  • 37. Alongside the ecology of nature, there exists what can be called a “human” ecology,which in turn demands a “social” ecology. All this means that humanity, if it trulydesires peace, must be increasingly conscious of the links between natural ecology, orrespect for nature, and human ecology. Experience shows that disregard for theenvironment always harms human coexistence, and vice versa. It becomes more and moreevident that there is an inseparable link between peace with creation and peace amongmen. Both of these presuppose peace with God. Benedict XVI, Message for the celebration of the XL World Day of Peace, n. 2, January 1, 2007 34
  • 38. EDUCATIONIntegral EducationGreater solidarity at the international level is seen especially in the ongoing promotion—even in the midst of economic crisis— of greater access to education, which is at thesame time an essential precondition for effective international cooperation. The term“education” refers not only to classroom teaching and vocational training —both ofwhich are important factors in development— but to the complete formation of theperson. In this regard, there is a problem that should be highlighted: in order to educate,it is necessary to know the nature of the human person, to know who he or she is. Theincreasing prominence of a relativistic understanding of that nature presents seriousproblems for education, especially moral education, jeopardizing its universalextension. Yielding to this kind of relativism makes everyone poorer and has a negativeimpact on the effectiveness of aid to the neediest populations, who lack not onlyeconomic and technical means, but also educational methods and resources to assistpeople in realizing their full human potential. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 61 *The term “quality” of education reminds us of the need to develop processes and meanssuitable to the objectives of an authentic education for the young. Among thesefundamental educational objectives are the cognitive, moral, and spiritual developmentof students; the transmission of values and culture; the promotion of a social cohesion;and the growth of the student’s personality in every dimension. Furthermore, anintegral education should help to form the new generation in social participation,solidarity and a critical understanding of reality […] By means of education a childshould be helped to satisfy his or her affective and cognitive needs. This calls for aunified response, that is, a system of coordinated interventions within the educationalproject. Children need to be loved and to love, to play, to use their imagination, toexercise free choice in a way suitable to their age, and to have satisfied their questionsof meaning and their spiritual development. The school should be able to offer anenvironment where this can take place; it must be an educational community markedby respect, love and caring for one another. In addition, schools need well-trainedteachers who serve as models for their students. Educators not only hand on ideas butthey also closely accompany young people in this important phase of their lives,cooperating with parents who have the primary right and obligation to see to theeducation of their children. As well, education has the responsibility of handing onknowledge of one’s own cultural roots and of furnishing fixed points of reference, bothof which allow students to situate themselves serenely in the wider world. At the sametime, an authentic education should teach future generations respect for other culturesand promote appreciation for the richness of their history and values. Education is,therefore, called to provide indispensable elements for developing an intercultural 35
  • 39. vision among young people. Such a vision is fostered by undertaking a suitableformative and educational path. This moves beyond mere tolerance to welcoming of themulticultural reality of Europe - a path that strives for mutual understanding. At thepedagogical level, this intercultural perspective truly entails a paradigm shift. Pastmodels of integration and of respect for diversity were more or less successful, but thetime has come for adopting a new model of living together with our differences. Thisnew model entails more than coexisting. Above all, it means building together acommon destiny, striving for cooperation and fraternity, joining together on the roadto shape our civilization. Such a model is not easy to bring about. On the one hand, itimposes the need to investigate the ethical foundations of all cultural experiences; onthe other hand, it requires the preservation of one’s own identity and avoids proposinggeneric models, which could easily lead to cultural fragmentation and politicalinstability. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 22 Session of the standing conference of the European Ministers of Education, nd Istanbul, 4-5 May 2007 *We must promote a true human empowerment of the poor and provide, even inconditions of economic crisis, greater access to education. This needs to go beyond basiceducation or professional training, both important causes of development, and concernthe total formation of the person. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 64 Session of the UN General Assembly before the Second Committee, on item 57: th “Eradication of poverty and other development issues”, New York, October 22, 2009 *It does not suffice to make them responsible men and women in their family and at alllevels of society. To this end, it is necessary to give priority to an education in thehuman and moral values that will enable all young people to acquire self-confidence,hope in the future, concern for their brothers and sisters in humanity, as well as to taketheir place for the growth of the nation with an ever more acute awareness of others. Benedict XVI, Address to the new ambassadors on the occasion of the presentation of the letters accrediting them to the Holy See, December 13, 2007Inclusive EducationA truly inclusive society calls for an equally inclusive education […] needs the principle ofsubsidiarity that generates a synergy among family, teachers, professors and educators,young people themselves, non-governmental organizations, churches and religious 36
  • 40. communities and other persons that, in different ways, contribute to the formativeprocess. While a more humane and inclusive society should care for the mostvulnerable – and attention in educational policies to the right of the child is a significantaspect of this principle – school should constitute an environment in which educatorscould answer to the affective and cognitive needs of the child, not only in transmittinginformation, but also in being relevant for the children in this delicate phase of theirlives. Then, educators should remain aware that they carry out their service incooperation with parents, who are the first ‘educational agency’ and have the priorityright and duty to educate their children. This convergence of efforts is an evidentapplication of the basic principle of subsidiarity. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 48 International Conference of UNESCO on Education, th Geneva, November 26, 2008Cultural IntegrationAnother central goal of any educational policy should be to think and organize theschool as an environment in which various members of the school community enjoyinggood relations between them. The educational community is called to promote a schoolthat is a place of holistic education through interpersonal relationships based on respectand mutual acceptance. From this point of view, integration is not an ideology thatreduces all differences and loses sight of the real situation of the person, his thoughtsand his experiences, and this should remain the focus of any educational program. Benedict XVI, Meeting with members of the General Assembly, New York, April 18, 2008 *Schools should also question themselves on the role they must fulfil in the contemporarysocial context, marked by an evident educational crisis. The Catholic school, whoseprimary mission is to form students in accordance with an integral anthropologicalvision while remaining open to all and respecting the identity of each one, cannot failto propose its own educational, human and Christian perspective. Here then, a newchallenge is posed which globalization and increasing pluralism make even more acute:in other words, the challenge of the encounter of religions and cultures in the commonsearch for the truth. The acceptance of the cultural plurality of pupils and parents mustnecessarily meet two requirements: on the one hand, not to exclude anyone in the nameof his or her cultural or religious membership; on the other, once this cultural andreligious difference has been recognized and accepted, not to stop at the mereobservation of it. This would in fact be equivalent to denying that cultures truly respectone another when they meet, because all authentic cultures are oriented to the truthabout man and to his good. Therefore, people who come from different cultures canspeak to one another and understand one another over and above distances in time 37
  • 41. and space, because in the heart of every person dwells the same great aspirations togoodness, justice, truth, life and love. Benedict XVI, Address to the participants in the plenary meeting of the Congregation for Catholic Education (for seminaries and educational institutions), January 21, 2008 *The needs of families, women, youth, the uneducated and unemployed, the indigenous,the elderly, migrants and all other groups more vulnerable to social exclusion must beaddressed through the appropriate legal, social and institutional structures. Yet,through living with and sharing the experiences of those who have been excluded bysociety we can find means for more fully integrating them into the community, and,more importantly, affirming their dignity and worth so that they can truly becomeprotagonists for their own development. The Holy See and the various institutions ofthe Church remain committed to fulfilling this obligation. Through programs, agenciesand organizations in every continent, those whom many in society have forgotten aresought out and brought into mainstream society. Through such common effort thelessons learned from those who are marginalized reinforce the truth that povertyeradication, full employment and social integration will be achieved when clarity ofpurpose is matched by a commitment of spirit. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 47 Session of the ECOSOC on the theme of Social Integration, th New York, February 5, 2009 38
  • 42. RELIGIOUS ISSUESReligious FreedomThe Christian revelation of the unity of the human race presupposes a metaphysicalinterpretation of the “humanum” in which relationality is an essential element. Other culturesand religions teach brotherhood and peace and are therefore of enormous importanceto integral human development. Some religious and cultural attitudes, however, donot fully embrace the principle of love and truth and therefore end up retarding or evenobstructing authentic human development. There are certain religious cultures in theworld today that do not oblige men and women to live in communion but rather cutthem off from one other in a search for individual well-being, limited to the gratificationof psychological desires. Furthermore, a certain proliferation of different religious“paths”, attracting small groups or even single individuals, together with religioussyncretism, can give rise to separation and disengagement. One possible negative effectof the process of globalization is the tendency to favour this kind of syncretism byencouraging forms of “religion” that, instead of bringing people together, alienate themfrom one another and distance them from reality. At the same time, some religious andcultural traditions persist which ossify society in rigid social groupings, in magicalbeliefs that fail to respect the dignity of the person, and in attitudes of subjugation tooccult powers. In these contexts, love and truth have difficulty asserting themselves,and authentic development is impeded.For this reason, while it may be true that development needs the religions and culturesof different peoples, it is equally true that adequate discernment is needed. Religiousfreedom does not mean religious indifferentism, nor does it imply that all religions areequal. Discernment is needed regarding the contribution of cultures and religions,especially on the part of those who wield political power, if the social community is tobe built up in a spirit of respect for the common good. Such discernment has to bebased on the criterion of charity and truth. Since the development of persons andpeoples is at stake, this discernment will have to take account of the need foremancipation and inclusivity, in the context of a truly universal human community.“The whole man and all men” is also the criterion for evaluating cultures and religions.Christianity, the religion of the “God who has a human face”, contains this verycriterion within itself. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 55 *The Christian religion and other religions can offer their contribution to developmentonly if God has a place in the public realm, specifically in regard to its cultural, social,economic, and particularly its political dimensions. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 56 39
  • 43. Man bears within himself a specific capacity for discerning what is good and right.Affixed in him as a seal by the Creator, synderesis urges him to do well. Impelled byit, the human being is required to develop his conscience by forming and using it inorder to direct his life freely based on the essential laws which are natural law andmoral law. In our day, when the development of the sciences attracts and seduces withthe possibilities they offer, it is more important than ever to educate the consciencesof our contemporaries in order to prevent science from becoming the criterion of goodand to ensure that man is respected as the centre of creation and not made the objectof ideological manipulation, arbitrary decisions or the abuse of the weaker by thestronger. Benedict XVI, Address to participants in an interacademic conference on “The changing identity of the individual”, Roma, January 28, 2008 *Discernment, then, shows that entrusting exclusively to individual States, with theirlaws and institutions, the final responsibility to meet the aspirations of persons,communities and entire peoples, can sometimes have consequences that exclude thepossibility of a social order respectful of the dignity and rights of the person. On theother hand, a vision of life firmly anchored in the religious dimension can help toachieve this, since recognition of the transcendent value of every man and womanfavours conversion of heart, which then leads to a commitment to resist violence,terrorism and war, and to promote justice and peace. This also provides the propercontext for the inter-religious dialogue that the United Nations is called to support, justas it supports dialogue in other areas of human activity. Dialogue should be recognizedas the means by which the various components of society can articulate their point ofview and build consensus around the truth concerning particular values or goals. Itpertains to the nature of religions, freely practised, that they can autonomously conducta dialogue of thought and life. If at this level, too, the religious sphere is kept separatefrom political action, then great benefits ensue for individuals and communities. Onthe other hand, the United Nations can count on the results of dialogue betweenreligions, and can draw fruit from the willingness of believers to place their experiencesat the service of the common good. Their task is to propose a vision of faith not in termsof intolerance, discrimination and conflict, but in terms of complete respect for truth,coexistence, rights, and reconciliation. Benedict XVI, Address at the Meeting with the members of the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization, New York, April 18, 2008 *Authentic tolerance and respect is a civic discipline, not just a personal attitude. Theobjective of the OSCE commitment to combat intolerance and discrimination againstChristians and members of the other religions is not to somehow “level the playing 40
  • 44. field”, or indifference towards world views, but to genuinely the differences amongus. Indeed, neutrality toward world views cannot be truly tolerant and respectful.Likewise, an absence of convictions does not define tolerance; and in the absence ofsome compelling notion of the truth that requires us to be tolerant of those who havea different understanding of the truth of things, there is only scepticism and relativism.An authentic notion of tolerance in pluralistic societies demands that in their dealingswith unbelievers and those of different faiths, believers should grasp that they mustreasonably expect that the dissent they encounter will go on existing. At the same time,however, secular political cultures must encourage unbelievers to grasp the same pointin their dealings with believers. When secularized citizens act in their role as citizens,they must to deny in principle that religious images of the world have the potential toexpress truth. Nor must they refuse their believing fellow citizens the right to makecontributions in a religions language to public debates. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at OSCE/ODIHIR human dimension implementation meeting, Warsaw, October 5, 2009 *At this juncture, therefore, it is better to avoid a negative and limiting approach andinsist rather on the positive aspects of the fundamental right to freedom of religion.The wise use of media and of educational systems and textbooks can teach mutualrespect and appreciation. Moreover, initiatives of dialogue and efforts like that of theHigh Commissioner of Human Rights to attain a better understanding of article 19 and20 of the ICCPR in the international law framework, can go a long way towardpromoting mutual understanding, sustain freedom of religion, belief and conscience,and to prevent their disrespect. Civil authorities should contribute their part byguaranteeing the right to criticize the work of the media and by facilitating theparticipation of all, especially of ethnic groups and religious minorities, in the decisionmaking of communication policies. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 12 ordinary session of the Human Rights’ Council on religious freedom, th Geneva, September 30, 2009 *As a way of reaffirming the lofty contribution which religions can make to the struggleagainst poverty and the building of peace, I would like to repeat in this assembly,which symbolically represents all the nations of the world, which Christianity is areligion of freedom and peace, and it stands at the service of the true good ofhumanity. To our brothers and sisters who are victims of violence, especially in Iraqand in India, I renew the assurance of my paternal affection; to the civil and politicalauthorities, I urgently request that they be actively committed to ending intoleranceand acts of harassment directed against Christians, to repairing the damage which hasbeen done, particularly to the places of worship and properties; and to encouraging by 41
  • 45. every means possible due respect for all religions, outlawing all forms of hatred andcontempt. Benedict XVI, Address to the members of the diplomatic corps, January 8, 2009 *The United Nations’ specific and primary responsibility vis-à-vis religion is to debate,elucidate and help States to fully ensure, at all levels, the implementation of the rightto religious freedom as affirmed in the relevant UN documents which include fullrespect for and promotion not only of the fundamental freedom of conscience but alsoof the expression and practice of everybody’s religion, without restriction. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy Seeat the 64 session of the UN General Assembly before the plenary on item 49: “Culture of peace”, th New York, November 10, 2009Interreligious DialogueInterreligious or interfaith dialogue aiming at investigating the theological and spiritualfoundations of different religions in view of mutual understanding and cooperation isbecoming more and more an imperative, a conviction and an effective endeavouramong many religions […]Today, many Christian denominations and other religionsare engaged in dialogue with programs of their own and in this way have continued tomake progress in greater understanding among each other […]This type of theologicaland spiritual dialogue requires that it be conducted by and among believers and adopta proper methodology. At the same time, it offers the indispensable premise and basisfor that much broader culture of dialogue and cooperation that different academic,political, economic and international institutions have launched in past decades. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy Seeat the 64 session of the UN General Assembly before the plenary on item 49: “Culture of peace”, th New York, November 10, 2009 *The Holy See attaches particular importance to its participation in high-level dialogueon understanding among religions and cultures and cooperation for peace, within theframework of the 62nd General Assembly of the United Nations (4-5 October 2007). Inorder to be true, this dialogue must be clear, avoiding relativism and syncretism, whileat the same time it must be marked by sincere respect for others and by a spirit ofreconciliation and fraternity. Benedict XVI, Address to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See for the traditional exchange of New Year greetings, January 7, 2008 42
  • 46. The advocacy of hatred and violence towards specific religions which persists invarious places suggests a state of mind characterized by intolerance. For this reason itis imperative that the people of the various faith traditions work together in order togrow in mutual understanding. Here there is need for an authentic change of minds andhearts. This can be done best through education, beginning with children and youngpeople, on the importance of tolerance and respect for cultural and religious diversity.Cooperation among religions is a prerequisite for the transformation of society andmust lead to a change of minds and hearts so that a culture of tolerance and peacefulcoexistence among peoples can truly be built. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 64th session of the UN General Assembly, New York, October 26, 2009 43
  • 47. HUMAN RIGHTSDignity and Human NatureConsequently it is important for international agencies not to lose sight of the naturalfoundation of human rights. This would enable them to avoid the risk, unfortunatelyever-present, of sliding towards a merely positivistic interpretation of those rights.Were that to happen, the international bodies would end up lacking the necessaryauthority to carry out their role as defenders of the fundamental rights of the personand of peoples, the chief justification for their very existence and activity. Benedict XVI, Message for the celebration of the XL World Day of Peace, January 1, 2007 *I encourage you, then, to counter relativism creatively by presenting the great truthsabout man’s innate dignity and the rights which are derived from that dignity. This inturn will contribute to the forging of a more adequate response to the many issues beingdiscussed today in the international forum. Above all, it will help to advance specificinitiatives marked by a spirit of solidarity and freedom. Benedict XVI, Address to representatives of the Holy See to International Organizations and to participants in the Forum of Catholic-inspired NGOs, December 1, 2007 *This reference to human dignity, which is the foundation and goal of the responsibilityto protect, leads us to the theme we are specifically focusing upon this year, whichmarks the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Thisdocument was the outcome of a convergence of different religious and culturaltraditions, all of them motivated by the common desire to place the human person atthe heart of institutions, laws and the workings of society, and to consider the humanperson essential for the world of culture, religion and science. Human rights areincreasingly being presented as the common language and the ethical substratum ofinternational relations. At the same time, the universality, indivisibility andinterdependence of human rights all serve as guarantees safeguarding human dignity.It is evident, though, that the rights recognized and expounded in the Declaration applyto everyone by virtue of the common origin of the person, who remains the high-pointof God’s creative design for the world and for history. They are based on the natural lawinscribed on human hearts and present in different cultures and civilizations. Removinghuman rights from this context would mean restricting their range and yielding to arelativistic conception, according to which the meaning and interpretation of rightscould vary and their universality would be denied in the name of different cultural,political, social and even religious outlooks. This great variety of viewpoints must not 45
  • 48. be allowed to obscure the fact that not only rights are universal, but so too is the humanperson, the subject of those rights. Benedict XVI, Address at the Meeting with the members of the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization, New York, April 18, 2008 *Human dignity concerns democracy and sovereignty, but goes at the same timebeyond them. It calls upon all actors, both governmental and non-governmental, faithand other communities, state and non-state actors to work for freedom, equality, andsocial justice for all human beings, while respecting the world’s cultural and religiousmosaic. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 6 ordinary session of the Human Rights Council, th Geneva, December 10, 2007 *In law and moral conscience of the international community today, human dignityappears to be the source from which all the rights are born and should logically replacethe sovereign and independent will of the States as the ultimate foundation of any legalsystem, including the legal international system. This then would be an irreversibledevelopment. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 3 Commission of the 62 Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations rd nd on the Report of Human Rights Council, n. 2, New York, November 5, 2007 *Evolving societies must remain faithful to all that is truly human in their traditions,avoiding the temptation to overlay them automatically with the mechanisms of aglobalized technological civilization. In all cultures there are examples of ethicalconvergence, some isolated, some interrelated, as an expression of the one humannature, willed by the Creator; the tradition of ethical wisdom knows this as the naturallaw. This universal moral law provides a sound basis for all cultural, religious andpolitical dialogue, and it ensures that the multi-faceted pluralism of cultural diversitydoes not detach itself from the common quest for truth, goodness and God. Thusadherence to the law etched on human hearts is the precondition for all constructivesocial cooperation. Every culture has burdens from which it must be freed and shadowsfrom which it must emerge. The Christian faith, by becoming incarnate in cultures andat the same time transcending them, can help them grow in universal brotherhood andsolidarity, for the advancement of global and community development. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 59 46
  • 49. Man is always more than what is seen or perceived of him through experience. Failingto ask questions about man’s being would lead inevitably to refusing to seek the objectivetruth about being as a whole, and hence, to no longer be able to recognize the basis onwhich human dignity, the dignity of every person, rests from the embryonic stage tonatural death […] the sciences, philosophy and theology can be mutually helpful forperceiving the human identity which is constantly developing. Starting with questionson the new being derived from cellular fusion and who bears a new and specific geneticpatrimony, you have brought to the fore some essential elements of the mystery of man,marked by otherness: a being created by God, a being in the image of God, a being whois loved and is made to love. As a human person, man is never closed in on himself; heis always a bearer of otherness and from the very first moment of his existence interactswith other human beings, as the human sciences increasingly bring to light. Benedict XVI, Address to participants in an interacademic conference on “The changing identity of the individual”, Rome, January 28, 2008 *But Law can be an effective force for peace only if its foundations are solidly anchoredin natural law, given by the Creator. It is also for this reason that one can never excludeGod from the horizon of man and history. The name of God is a name of justice; itrepresents an urgent appeal for peace. Benedict XVI, Address to the Diplomatic Corps, January 7, 2008Rights and ResponsibilitiesToday, though, efforts need to be redoubled in the face of pressure to reinterpret thefoundations of the Declaration and to compromise its inner unity so as to facilitate amove away from the protection of human dignity towards the satisfaction of simpleinterests, often particular interests. The Declaration was adopted as a “common standardof achievement” (Preamble) and cannot be applied piecemeal, according to trends orselective choices that merely run the risk of contradicting the unity of the human personand thus the indivisibility of human rights.Experience shows that legality often prevails over justice when the insistence uponrights makes them appear as the exclusive result of legislative enactments or normativedecisions taken by the various agencies of those in power. When presented purely interms of legality, rights risk becoming weak propositions divorced from the ethical andrational dimension which is their foundation and their goal. The Universal Declaration,rather, has reinforced the conviction that respect for human rights is principally rootedin unchanging justice, on which the binding force of international proclamations is alsobased. This aspect is often overlooked when the attempt is made to deprive rights of 47
  • 50. their true function in the name of a narrowly utilitarian perspective. Since rights andthe resulting duties follow naturally from human interaction, it is easy to forget thatthey are the fruit of a commonly held sense of justice built primarily upon solidarityamong the members of society, and hence valid at all times and for all peoples. [...] Inthe context of international relations, it is necessary to recognize the higher role playedby rules and structures that are intrinsically ordered to promote the common good,and therefore to safeguard human freedom. These regulations do not limit freedom.On the contrary, they promote it when they prohibit behaviour and actions which workagainst the common good, curb its effective exercise and hence compromise the dignityof every human person. In the name of freedom, there has to be a correlation betweenrights and duties, by which every person is called to assume responsibility for his or herchoices, made as a consequence of entering into relations with others. [...] The commongood that human rights help to accomplish cannot, however, be attained merely byapplying correct procedures, nor even less by achieving a balance between competingrights. The merit of the Universal Declaration is that it has enabled different cultures,juridical expressions and institutional models to converge around a fundamentalnucleus of values, and hence of rights. Benedict XVI, Address at the Meeting with the members of the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization, New York, April 18, 2008 *Human rights, in fact, are not a rhetorical remembrance, but the result of the responsibledeeds of everyone. Deeds necessary in a world that has adequate means and specializedstructures to end the scandal of hunger and poverty. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 63 Session of the UN General Assembly commemorating the 60th anniversary rd of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, New York, December 10, 2008 *Victims of religious intolerance are particularly numerous where the international lawof human rights is not incorporated into national legislations that risk in this way toallow impunity of violators of fundamental human rights. The way ahead includes arenewed engagement in appropriating through education the juridical instrumentsdeveloped by international law. But it is not enough to communicate a series ofdocuments. It is important to change attitudes, a long range process that transformsthe person and ensure an effective support for dignity and freedoms such as freedomof religion and expression and freedom from want and fear. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 7 ordinary session of the Human Rights Council, th Geneva, March 5, 2008 48
  • 51. To be effective, a just rule of law requires judicial administration, responsible runningof institutions and social and political support. Focusing solely upon the technical andadministrative aspects of the implementation of the rule of law has proven to be andwill continue to be ineffective for we must address the underlying cultural supportwhich is necessary to respect those for whom the law exists. In this regard, the Holy Seeand its various organizations remain committed to supporting the rule of law at thenational and international levels. Its educational institutions in many countries aroundthe world provide individuals quality education in the fundamental nature of law andits proper application, which can only lead to the eradication of corruption. In addition,through many of its organizations around the world numerous committed men andwomen are present in jails and prisons to provide physical, psychological and spiritualsupport to the incarcerated and help provide them with the skills necessary to becomeproductive law abiding citizens. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 64th Session of the UN General Assembly on the rule of law at the national and international levels, New York, October 15, 2009 *Every human being has the right to good governance, i.e., to all social actions, atnational and international levels, which contribute, directly or indirectly, to give allpeople a free and dignified life. At the same time, it is an essential part of that dignitythat everyone takes responsibility for their actions and actively respects the dignity ofothers. Rights always exist simultaneously with the duties and responsibilities. Thisapplies to individual men and women and similarly to the States, whose progress andwhose true assertion depend on their ability to establish and maintain relations withother States and express a common responsibility for world problems. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 64 Session of the United Nations General Assembly, th New York, September 29, 2009Right to FoodThe right to food, like the right to water, has an important place within the pursuit ofother rights, beginning with the fundamental right to life. It is therefore necessary tocultivate a public conscience that considers food and access to water as universal rights ofall human beings, without distinction or discrimination. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 27 *Conferences and Declarations of intergovernmental agencies rightfully have concludedthat hunger is not due to lack of food but rather is caused by the lack of access, both 49
  • 52. physical and financial, to agricultural resources […] The problem of adequate foodproduction is more than a temporary emergency . It is structural in nature and shouldbe addressed in the context of economic growth that is just and sustainable. It requiresmeasures dealing not only with agriculture and rural development but also with health,education, good governance, the rule of law, and respect for human rights […] Theutilization of land for food production and for the production for other resourceseventually has to be balanced, not by the market, but by mechanisms that respond tothe common good. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the right to food, Geneva, May 22, 2008 *The right to food, with all that this implies, has an immediate repercussion on both theindividual and communal dimensions, which bring together entire peoples and humangroups. I am thinking in a special way of the situation of children -the main victims ofthis tragedy-, who at times are obstacles to their physical and psychologicaldevelopment and in many instances are forced to work or are enlisted in armed groupsin exchange for a little food.In such cases, I place my hope in the initiatives that have been proposed on many levelsin favour of school food programmes and which permit the entire community, whosesurvival is threatened by hunger, to look with great hope to the future. Benedict XVI, Message on the occasion of World Food Day, October 4, 2007 *States are called upon to protect the right to food. Agricultural products should not beaccumulated, even if for acceptable purposes, that however don’t fulfil a right asfundamental as the right to food [...] The Catholic Church believes that the duty toguarantee to everyone the same right of access to the minimum needs to live not onlyderives from a moral imperative to share with the poor, which is in itself an importantobligation, but it also consists in re-integrating the poor in the community. People livingin poverty should not be on the bench, in a marginal position. We must do everythingwe can to avoid this. The poor must be the focus of our concerns, the centre of thehuman family. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 34 Session of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, th Vienna, May 15, 2008 *States are called upon to operate on the basis of considerations weighed with theprimary purpose of protecting and implementing the right to food, so it is unthinkable 50
  • 53. to decrease the amount of agricultural products to be placed on the food market or tobe kept in reserve for emergencies that might arise for other purposes that, even thoughacceptable, don’t satisfy a right as fundamental as food. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the FAO, during the 30 Session of the Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean, th Brasilia, 14-18 April 2008 *The international community is struggling to find solutions to the financial andeconomic crisis that greed and lack of ethical responsibility have brought about. Whileanalysts debate the causes of the crisis, the social consequences of new poverty, loss ofjobs, malnutrition and stifled development, all impact the most vulnerable groups ofpeople and therefore call for effective and prompt answers. The Delegation of the HolySee appreciates the fact that the focus of attention is directed in this High-LevelSegment, in a most timely manner, on “Current global and national trends and theirimpact on social development, including public health.” The global economic crisiscontinues unabated. It is exacerbated by the emergence of a previously unknowninfluenza virus, A-H1N1 already recognized at pandemic proportion with a futureimpact that cannot be projected with much certainty, and by the global food securitycrisis that endangers the lives of millions of people, particularly the poorest of theworld, many of whom already suffer from acute and chronic malnutrition. Theseexamples show once again the link between poverty and health and thedisproportionate burden on developing countries and even on the poor in thedeveloped ones. Faced with such urgent global challenges, the future is mortgaged ina way that young people risk to inherit a severely compromised economic system, asociety without cohesion, and a planet damaged in its sustainability as a home for thewhole human family. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the high-level segment of ECOSOC, July 9, 2009 *The means and resources of which the world disposes today can procure sufficient foodto satisfy the growing needs of all. This has been demonstrated by the first results of theeffort to increase global production levels in the face of the shortage recorded in recentharvests. So why is it not possible to prevent so many people suffering the most extremeconsequences of hunger? There are numerous reasons for this situation in whichabundance and a deficit often coexist. Thus one can mention the food race that does notstop in spite of the constantly diminishing supply of foodstuffs which imposesreductions on the nutritional capacity of the poorest regions of the world, or the lackof determination to conclude negotiations and to check the selfishness of States andgroups of countries or further, to put an end to that “unbridled speculation” whichaffects the mechanisms of prices and consumption. The absence of a correctadministration of food resources caused by corruption in public life or growing 51
  • 54. investments in weapons and sophisticated military technology to the detriment of theprimary needs of people also plays an important role. Benedict XVI, Message on the occasion of World Food Day, October 13, 2008 *Malnutrition can also cause grave mental and physical damage to the population,depriving many people of the energy necessary to escape from poverty unaided. Thiscontributes to the widening gap of inequality, and can provoke violent reactions. All theindicators of relative poverty in recent years point to an increased disparity betweenrich and poor. No doubt the principal reasons for this are, on the one hand, advancesin technology, which mainly benefit the more affluent, and on the other hand, changesin the prices of industrial products, which rise much faster than those of agriculturalproducts and raw materials in the possession of poorer countries. In this way, themajority of the population in the poorest countries suffers a double marginalization,through the adverse effects of lower incomes and higher prices. Benedict XVI, Message for the celebration of the World Day of Peace, n. 7 January 1, 2009Right to Education, Training and InstructionEducation is an indispensable condition for democracy to function, for fightingcorruption, for exercising political, economic and social rights and for the effectiverecovery of all States, poor and rich alike. And, by correctly applying the principle ofsubsidiarity, the support of development cannot but take into account the far-reachingeducational action that the Catholic Church and other religious Denominations carryout in the world’s poorest and most neglected regions. Benedict XVI, Letter to Hon. Mr Silvio Berlusconi, Prime Minister of Italy, on the occasion of the G8 Summit (L’Aquila, 8-10 July 2009), July 1, 2009 *Governments and civil society, public and private sectors, parents and teachers mustinvest in the education of future generations to prepare them to face the challenges ofan increasingly globalized society. In particular, utmost efforts must be made to giveequal educational opportunities to boys and girls, and to ensure that no child is leftbehind for purely economic and social reasons. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy Seeat the 62 session of the UN General Assembly on the theme: “Recognizing the achievements, nd addressing the challenges and getting back on track to achieve the MDGs by 2015”, New York, April 4, 2008 52
  • 55. A minor investment in education today will result in a slower growth tomorrow. Intervention by the Delegation of The Holy See at the Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the global economic crisis, Geneva, February 20, 2009 *Education is at the basis of all social policies. The value of education goes beyondeconomic development and the satisfaction of one’s basic needs. Education enablesindividuals and peoples to establish with others relationships founded on mutualrespect and friendship and not on coercion. An educated society facilitates the fightagainst corruption which erodes the possibility of economic growth of the poorest. Italso helps create a legal framework which leaves ample space to the rights of propertyand free enterprise, while safeguarding at the same time the full enjoyment of the socialand economic rights of all without exception. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 3 Commission of the 62nd Session of the UN General Assembly, rd New York, October 9, 2007 *More education will be fostered, more local cultures will be promoted and more peoplewill have access to welfare, while the social and economic life of the people will drawfruit. We must recognize that nothing will really change in our world until all itsinhabitants have access to a quality education system [...] We should stress theimportance of ever greater attention to equality of the sexes in education, which mustbe promoted in all projects that are implemented [...] But we should also promoteeducation valuing the family, the basic unit of society, and parents that are responsiblein law to be the first educators of their children. Intervention of the Delegation of the Holy See at the General Policy Debate of the 34 Session of the General Conference of UNESCO, th Paris, October 22, 2007Promotion of WomenWoman is another “I” who shares in the same human nature. We must thereforerecognize, affirm and defend the equal dignity of man and woman: they are bothpersons, utterly unique among all the living beings found in the world.Man and woman are both called to live in profound communion through a reciprocalrecognition of one another and the mutual gift of themselves, working together for thecommon good through the complementary aspects of masculinity and femininity. Whotoday can fail to recognize the need to make more room for the “reasons of the heart”?In a world like ours, dominated by technology, we feel the need for this feminine 53
  • 56. complementarity, so that the human race can live in the world without completelylosing its humanity. Think of all the places afflicted by great poverty or devastated bywar, and of all the tragic situations resulting from migrations, forced or otherwise. It isalmost always women who manage to preserve human dignity, to defend the familyand to protect cultural and religious values.Dear brothers and sisters, history records almost exclusively the accomplishments ofmen, when in fact much of it is due to the determined, unrelenting and charitable actionof women. Of all the many extraordinary women […] Since the dignity of women isequal to that of men, no one today should doubt that women have “a full right tobecome actively involved in all areas of public life, and this right must be affirmed andguaranteed, also, where necessary, through appropriate legislation. Thisacknowledgment of the public role of women should not however detract from theirunique role within the family. Here their contribution to the welfare and progress ofsociety, even if its importance is not sufficiently appreciated, is truly incalculable”(Message for the 1995 World Day of Peace, 9). Benedict XVI, Meeting with catholic movements for the promotion of women, Luanda, March 22, 2009 *Beyond this, and given the distinctive influence of women in society, they must beencouraged to embrace the opportunity to uphold the dignity of life through theirinvolvement in education and their participation in political and civic life. Indeed,because they have been gifted by the Creator with a unique “capacity for the other”,women have a crucial part to play in the promotion of human rights, for without theirvoice the social fabric of society would be weakened. Benedict XVI, Message to participants in The International Conference on the theme: “Life, family and development: the role of women in the promotion of human rights“, Vatican, 20-21 March 2009 *We must confront and eliminate the deprivation of the rights of women anddiscriminatory practices against them. They should be guaranteed equal opportunities,equal economic treatment for the same work done by men, fairness in careeradvancement, equal access to medical and legal structures and equality in propertyrights and family [...] Genius of the women that mobilize and organize activities endowwomen with the ability and motivation to develop ever-expanding networks forsharing experiences and producing new ideas. [...] That the sphere of your influencecontinues to expand regionally, nationally and internationally to promote human rightsbased on the firm foundation of marriage and family. [...] The great contribution ofwomen to society in homes and families as wives and mothers often is not recognizedor rewarded. Women must face the challenge of raising children while seeking to gainfinancial security. Resources are increasingly required together with more courageous 54
  • 57. policies to reward the socio-economic contribution made by women in the home.Rewarding in some way these efforts would help poor women and those who are lessable to enter into the labour market. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 52 session of the Commission on the Status of Women nd of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, New York, March 3, 2008 *Political and social, national and international institutions are also duty bound to ensurethat this dignity is respected in all circumstances, at all stages of a person’s life. In thisperspective, one cannot fail to hope that ever greater attention will be paid to respectingwomen and young girls, and especially to their physical integrity, their freedom tochoose their own husband and their need for access to education and social life. It isthus important that their genius be taken into account by international organizationsas well as by the leaders of civil society in the different countries of the globe. It is thanksto women -whose work, often humble and hidden, requires support- that the family asthe basic cell of society will be better promoted, that young people will learn how to fitbetter into social networks, that peace will be sought more intensely and that dialogueand human relations will be factors of brotherhood and solidarity at the local level.Thus, society as a whole will ultimately benefit from the vocation, action and genius ofwomen. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 176 Session of the Executive Council of UNESCO, th Paris, April 20, 2007 *In particular, it is more and more untenable that there continue to be attitudes andplaces -even in health care- where women are discriminated against and theircontribution to society is undervalued simply because they are women. Recourse tosocial and cultural pressure in order to maintain the inequality of the sexes isunacceptable. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 53 Session of the Commission of ECOSOC on the Status of Women, rd New York, March 9, 2009ChildhoodA third area requiring attention in programmes for fighting poverty, which once againhighlights its intrinsic moral dimension, is child poverty. When poverty strikes a family,the children prove to be the most vulnerable victims: almost half of those living in 55
  • 58. absolute poverty today are children. To take the side of children when consideringpoverty means giving priority to those objectives which concern them most directly,such as caring for mothers, commitment to education, access to vaccines, medical careand drinking water, safeguarding the environment, and above all, commitment todefence of the family and the stability of relations within it. When the family isweakened, it is inevitably children who suffer. If the dignity of women and mothers isnot protected, it is the children who are affected most. Benedict XVI, Message for the celebration of the XLII World Day of Peace, January 1, 2009 *Giving young people access to justice, to ensure respect of their fundamental rightsand guarantee their liberty, remains a priority not only in terms of legislation, but alsoas regards broader social and cultural considerations. This is why the defence of minorsagainst exploitation and sexual abuse requires, first and foremost, an ongoing, effectivecommitment to prevention, taking into account all the different facets of their lives,starting with the situations in which they are most vulnerable. What is more, the victimsmust receive certain guarantees, and forms of judgment must be undertaken, focussingon the conduct and personal responsibility of those who commit grave, criminal actsagainst minors […] This is the perspective from which juvenile delinquency should beviewed, orienting legal assistance, indeed, the full set of activities of the world of justice,towards the rehabilitation of minors […] At the same time, a proper interpretation ofthe principle of subsidiarity demands that, in dealing with the need to create adequatestructures for dealing with the problems of minors, the educational and preventionroles that parents are naturally called on to play is not sacrificed. This is a role thatthose in public power can support through aid and specialised structures that are notdesigned for exclusion or detention, but rather aim to reintegrate minors in the socialfabric. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 28 Conference of the European Ministers of Justice, th Madrid, 25-26 October 2007 *The Delegation of the Holy See, Mr. President, would like to focus on a specific case inthis crisis: its impact on the human rights of children, which exemplifies, as well, whatis symptomatic of the destructive impact on all other social and economic rights. Atpresent some important rights of poor people are heavily dependent on official aidflows and on workers’ remittances. These include the right to health, education, andfood. In several poor countries, in fact, educational, health and nutritional programmesare implemented with the help of aid flows from official donors. Should the economiccrisis reduce this assistance, the successful completion of these programs could bethreatened. By the same token, in many poor regions, entire families can afford to havetheir children educated and decently nourished due to remittances received from 56
  • 59. migrants. If the reduction of both aid and remittances continue, it will deprive childrenof the right to be educated creating a double negative consequence. Not only will weprevent children from the full exercise of their talent that, in turn, could be put to usefor the common good, but also the preconditions will be established for long-rangeeconomic hardship. Lower educational investment today, in fact, will be translated intolower future growth. At the same time, poor nutrition among children significantlyworsens life expectancy by increasing both child and adult mortality rates. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the world financial crisis, Geneva, February 20, 2009 *There is also widespread concern for the millions of children throughout the worldwho fail to reach their full potential on account of the enormous differences and greatinjustices that afflict healthcare. […] We cannot allow these defenceless children, theirparents and other adults of the world’s poorer communities to become increasinglyvulnerable on account of the global economic crisis, fuelled by extensive quantities ofselfishness and greed. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 62nd World Healthcare Assembly, Geneva, May 19, 2009Trade-unionismWhile reflecting on the theme of work, it is appropriate to recall how important it is thatlabour unions —which have always been encouraged and supported by the Church—should be open to the new perspectives that are emerging in the world of work.Looking to wider concerns than the specific category of labour for which they wereformed, union organizations are called to address some of the new questions arising inour society: I am thinking, for example, of the complex of issues that social scientistsdescribe in terms of a conflict between worker and consumer. Without necessarilyendorsing the thesis that the central focus on the worker has given way to a centralfocus on the consumer, this would still appear to constitute new ground for unions toexplore creatively. The global context in which work takes place also demands thatnational labour unions, which tend to limit themselves to defending the interests oftheir registered members, should turn their attention to those outside theirmembership, and in particular to workers in developing countries where social rightsare often violated. The protection of these workers, partly achieved through appropriateinitiatives aimed at their countries of origin, will enable trade unions to demonstrate theauthentic ethical and cultural motivations that made it possible for them, in a differentsocial and labour context, to play a decisive role in development. The Church’straditional teaching makes a valid distinction between the respective roles andfunctions of trade unions and politics. This distinction allows unions to identify civil 57
  • 60. society as the proper setting for their necessary activity of defending and promotinglabour, especially on behalf of exploited and unrepresented workers, whose woefulcondition is often ignored by the distracted eye of society. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 64 *Through the combination of social and economic change, trade union organizationsexperience greater difficulty in carrying out their task of representing the interests ofworkers, partly because Governments, for reasons of economic utility, often limit thefreedom or the negotiating capacity of labour unions. Hence traditional networks ofsolidarity have more and more obstacles to overcome. The repeated calls issued withinthe Church’s social doctrine, beginning with Rerum Novarum, for the promotion ofworkers’ associations that can defend their rights must therefore be honoured todayeven more than in the past, as a prompt and far-sighted response to the urgent need fornew forms of cooperation at the international level, as well as the local level. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 25 58
  • 61. PEACE AND SECURITYThe responsibility of Christians to work for peace and justice, their irrevocablecommitment to build up the common good, is inseparable from their mission toproclaim the gift of eternal life to which God has called every man and woman. In thisregard, the tranquillitas ordinis of which Saint Augustine speaks refers to “all things”:that is to say both “civil peace”, which is a “concord among citizens”, and the “peaceof the heavenly city”, which is the “perfectly ordered and harmonious enjoyment ofGod, and of one another in god” (De Civitate Dei, Xix, 13). Benedict XVI, Address to the participants in the 14th session of The Pontifical Academy Of Social Sciences, May 3, 2008 *Even peace can run the risk of being considered a technical product, merely theoutcome of agreements between governments or of initiatives aimed at ensuringeffective economic aid. It is true that peace-building requires the constant interplay ofdiplomatic contacts, economic, technological and cultural exchanges, agreements oncommon projects, as well as joint strategies to curb the threat of military conflict and toroot out the underlying causes of terrorism. Nevertheless, if such efforts are to havelasting effects, they must be based on values rooted in the truth of human life. That is,the voice of the peoples affected must be heard and their situation must be taken intoconsideration, if their expectations are to be correctly interpreted. One must alignoneself, so to speak, with the unsung efforts of so many individuals deeply committedto bringing peoples together and to facilitating development on the basis of love andmutual understanding. Among them are members of the Christian faithful, involved inthe great task of upholding the fully human dimension of development and peace. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 72 *An excessive increase in military expenditure risks accelerating the arms race,producing pockets of underdevelopment and desperation, so that it can paradoxicallybecome a cause of instability, tension and conflict. As my venerable Predecessor PaulVI wisely observed, “the new name for peace is development”. States are thereforeinvited to reflect seriously on the underlying reasons for conflicts, often provoked byinjustice, and to practise courageous self-criticism. If relations can be improved, itshould be possible to reduce expenditure on arms. The resources saved could then beearmarked for development projects to assist the poorest and most needy individualsand peoples: efforts expended in this way would be efforts for peace within the humanfamily. Benedict XVI, Message for the celebration of the XLII World Day of Peace, n. 6, January 1, 2009 59
  • 62. The life of the community, both domestically and internationally, clearlydemonstrates that respect for rights, and the guarantees that follow from them, aremeasures of the common good that serve to evaluate the relationship betweenjustice and injustice, development and poverty, security and conflict. The promotionof human rights remains the most effective strategy for eliminating inequalitiesbetween countries and social groups, and for increasing security. Indeed, thevictims of hardship and despair, whose human dignity is violated with impunity,become easy prey to the call to violence, and they can then become violators ofpeace. Benedict XVI, Address to UN General Assembly, New York, April 18, 2008 *While, in the short term, the most pressing need is for technical and legal measures toprotect nuclear materials and sites and to prevent acts of nuclear terrorism, in the longrun measures of prevention must root out the more deeply seated cultural and socialcauses of criminal activity and terrorism. Of particular importance are codes ofconduct for human resources, which, in the nuclear sector, must always be aware ofthe possible effects of their activities. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 53 General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency, rd Vienna, 14-18 September 2009International Humanitarian RightsAll victims of conflicts, and of the various categories of arms and munitions, have aright to receive care, without any type of discrimination. The aid offered must beappropriate and specific […]. Care is adequate when it allows the victims to live adignified existence within their society.The second aspect I wish to emphasise is cooperation. Though governments holdthe primary responsibility when it comes to caring for victims […], the NGOsand religious communities operating in the most distant regions must alsocontribute.The third consideration is what our experience in the field has long taught us,namely that the following practical measures are indispensable: a) ensuring regularbudgets at adequate levels for the care of victims and, even more importantly,making sure that qualified human resources are engaged; b) creating the structuresneeded for physical and psychological rehabilitation; c) creating educational andtraining structures through which the victims can return to a full social, economicand political life; d) implementing a policy of realistic care that takes into account 60
  • 63. not only the primary victim, but also the family and the local community. This is theapproach through which exclusion can most effectively be avoided. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the session of the group of government experts of the states participating in Protocol V on unexploded wartime munitions under the “Convention on the Prohibition or Limitation of the Use of Certain Conventional Arms that can produce Excessive or Indiscriminate Traumatic Effects”, Geneva, 22-24 April 2009 *It is also vital to realize that the solution to complex problems and emergenciesconcerning all of humanity are not only of a technical nature and cannot be reducedto mere assistance. In this instance, however, victims, both direct and indirect, deserveparticular attention and care. In fact, it is the most vulnerable who suffer the worstfrom natural disasters, conflicts and violence, from the consequences ofunderdevelopment, poverty and pandemics. These persons, their families andcommunities, have rights and we need to do everything to respect them. Moreover,they deserve our human closeness, our psychological, moral and spiritual support,not as condescending pity, but as the expression of our solidarity. We constitutetogether one human family. Aid should be given as self-aid in order that local peoplemay strengthen their own capacities and in this way fully exercise their freedom andresponsibility. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 30 International Conference of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent, th Geneva, 26-30 November 2007DisarmamentThe current level of world military expenditure gives cause for concern […] It canhappen that “immense military expenditure, involving material and human resourcesand arms, is in fact diverted from development projects for peoples, especially thepoorest who are most in need of aid. This is contrary to what is stated in the Charter ofthe United Nations, which engages the international community and States in particular‘to promote the establishment and maintenance of international peace and securitywith the least diversion for armaments of the world’s human and economic resources’(art. 26)”. Benedict XVI, Message for the celebration of the World Day of Peace, n. 6, January 1, 2009, *While noting with concern the signs of crisis appearing in the area of disarmament andnuclear non-proliferation, the Holy See has continued to reaffirm that peace cannot be 61
  • 64. built when military expenses divert enormous human and material resources fromprojects for development, especially the development of the poorest peoples. Benedict XVI, Address to the members of the diplomatic corps, January 8, 2009 *The way to ensure a future of peace for everyone is found not only in internationalaccords for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, but also in the determinedcommitment to seek their reduction and definitive dismantling. Benedict XVI, Address to the members of the diplomatic corps, n. 15, January 1, 2007 *Non-proliferation and the disarming of nuclear weapons are, as has been stressed onmore than one occasion by the Holy See, interdependent and mutually reinforcing efforts,and their transparent, responsible achievement constitute one of the primary tools notonly for the fight against nuclear terrorism, but also for the establishment, in concreteterms, of a culture of life and peace capable of effectively promoting the full humandevelopment of peoples […] Mere material wellbeing does not eliminate the risks andconflicts tied to the cultural and moral poverty and need of men and women. With thisin mind, nuclear policies should be considered in terms of the “full development ofmankind”, meaning not only material development, but, even more importantly, thecultural and moral growth of every individual and of all peoples. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 53 General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency, rd Vienna, 14-18 September 2009 *It seems necessary and urgent to re-launch multi-lateralism and the surveillance andmonitoring activities of the International Atomic Energy Agency. These activities do notrepresent a limit to the legitimate interests of States, but rather they are a guarantee forthe security and common good of all peoples. Even civilian programs I am herethinking of the question of dual use require an effective international monitoring, whilerespecting the freedom of States.It is true that energy security and nuclear security require the adoption of appropriatetechnical and legal measures. Nevertheless, these alone can never be the only responseto that which is, above all, a matter pertaining to human nature. Threats to securitycome from attitudes and actions hostile to human nature. It is, therefore, on the humanlevel that one must act on the cultural and ethical level. If, in the short term, technicaland legal measures are necessary for the protection of nuclear material and sites, aswell as for the prevention of acts of nuclear terrorism, whose possible devastatingeffects are truly difficult to imagine, then, in the long-term, prevention measures are 62
  • 65. also called for, measures that penetrate the deepest cultural and social roots of criminalactivity and terrorism. What is absolutely necessary are programs of formation for thediffusion of a “culture of safety and security” both in the nuclear sector and in thepublic conscience in general. A special role must be reserved for codes of conduct forhuman resources who, in the nuclear sector, must always be conscious of the possibleeffects of their activity. Security depends upon the State, but above all on the sense ofresponsibility of each person. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the Ministerial Conference on nuclear energy in the 21st century, Beijing, April 21, 2009 *Ten years after the great success of the adoption of the Ottawa Convention, theConvention on Cluster Munitions is another proof of our ability to draft and to adoptambitious instruments that combine disarmament and humanitarian law in a mannerthat is creative and capable of proposing a credible alternative based on the centralityof the human person. This convention is the expression of a common political will torespond concretely to particular problems by reinforcing international humanitarianlaw which is, in a certain way, an expression of our conviction that the respect anddignity of every human being, especially those who are the weakest, is the royal roadto peace and security. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the Oslo Conference for the signing of the Convention on cluster munitions, Oslo, December 3, 2008 *The Holy See strongly advocates re-directing those military doctrines which continueto rely on nuclear weapons as a means of security and defence or even measure ofpower, which have evidently shown to be among the main causes preventing genuinenuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, thus jeopardizing the very integrity ofthe Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Abandoning such doctrines is to freeze nucleartests, still witnessed recently; it is to address seriously the issues of nuclear strategicarms, the tactical ones and the means of delivery of these weapons. The entry intoforce of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) therefore is of thehighest priority, and the realization of which requires concrete steps towards itsratification by nine States […]The Holy See thus encourages the nuclear-weaponStates and those which possess such weapons to ratify all the protocols to theNuclear-Weapon-Free Zone treaties and strongly supports efforts to establish such azone in the Middle East. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the Session of the United Nations Security Council, New York, September 24, 2009 63
  • 66. The Holy See stresses the need for concrete, transparent and convincing steps in thefields of disarmament and non-proliferation under the guidance of the NPT principles.To build on the new momentum, the Holy See delegation is of the opinion that fiveobjectives could be reached in a short period of time:- The entry into force of the CTBT is essential and achievable if States are serious about their commitment to a nuclear-weapons-free world.- The immediate commencement of negotiations of a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty is overdue.- Nuclear weapon States have to interpret their military doctrines as precluding any reliance on nuclear weapons.- The peaceful use of nuclear energy should be under strict control of the International Atomic Energy Agency. All countries should join all relevant instruments in this area. The non-proliferation side of the NPT must be strengthened through increasing the capacity of the IAEA, and through further enhancement of the Agency’s safeguards system.- With the growing need for energy, it is imperative to find common solutions and international structures for the production of nuclear fuel. In this area, the IAEA should have a leading role to ensure safety, security and fair access for all.All these measures are necessary to promote trust, transparency, confidence, andcooperation among nations and regions. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the Third session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, New York, May 5, 2009 *The Holy See considers the Convention on Cluster Munitions an important step to inthe protection of civilians during and after conflicts from the indiscriminate effects ofthis inhumane type of weapons. The new Convention is a remarkable achievement formultilateralism in disarmament, based on constructive cooperation betweengovernmental and non governmental actors, and on the link between humanitarianlaw and human rights. Declaration of the Holy See attached to the instrument of ratification to the Convention On Cluster Munitions, Oslo, November 21, 2008Peace, Right of the Responsibility to ProtectThe principle of “responsibility to protect” was considered by the ancient ius gentiumas the foundation of every action taken by those in government with regard to the 64
  • 67. governed: at the time when the concept of national sovereign States was firstdeveloping, the Dominican Friar Francisco de Vitoria, rightly considered as a precursorof the idea of the United Nations, described this responsibility as an aspect of naturalreason shared by all nations, and the result of an international order whose task it wasto regulate relations between peoples. Benedict XVI, Address to UN General Assembly, New York, April 18, 2008 *The third pillar of the responsibility of the international community to intervene whennational authorities fail to act often draws the greatest scrutiny. Unfortunately thiselement has too often focused solely on the use of violence in order to prevent or stopviolence rather than on the various ways in which intervention can be made in anon-violent manner. Timely intervention which places emphasis upon mediation anddialogue has a greater ability to promote the responsibility to protect than militaryaction. Binding mediation and arbitration present an opportunity for the internationalcommunity to intervene in a manner which prevents violence. Further, targeted actions,such as sanctions, which are carefully aimed at preventing the spread of violenceinstead of at civilian populations, are also means upon which the internationalcommunity can agree to promote responsible sovereignty.For the third pillar to gain momentum and efficacy, further efforts must be made toensure that action taken pursuant to the powers of the Security Council is done in anopen and inclusive manner and that the needs of the affected populations, rather thanthe whims of geopolitical power struggles, are placed in the forefront. By doing so, weare able to respond to our moral obligation to intervene on behalf of those whosehuman rights and very rights to exist are placed in jeopardy. It is therefore imperativethat those countries in position to exercise their authority within the Security Councildo so in a manner which reflects the selflessness needed for taking an effective, timelyand human centered approach to saving people from grave atrocities. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 97 Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly debate th on the Report of the Secretary-General implementing the responsibility to protect, New York, July 28, 2009 65
  • 68. HUMAN MOBILITY, MIGRATION AND REFUGEESMigrationAnother aspect of integral human development that is worthy of attention is thephenomenon of migration. This is a striking phenomenon because of the sheer numbersof people involved, the social, economic, political, cultural and religious problems itraises, and the dramatic challenges it poses to nations and the internationalcommunity. We can say that we are facing a social phenomenon of epoch-makingproportions that requires bold, forward-looking policies of international cooperationif it is to be handled effectively. Such policies should set out from close collaborationbetween the migrants’ countries of origin and their countries of destination; it shouldbe accompanied by adequate international norms able to coordinate differentlegislative systems with a view to safeguarding the needs and rights of individualmigrants and their families, and at the same time, those of the host countries. Nocountry can be expected to address today’s problems of migration by itself. We are allwitnesses of the burden of suffering, the dislocation and the aspirations thataccompany the flow of migrants. The phenomenon, as everyone knows, is difficult tomanage; but there is no doubt that foreign workers, despite any difficulties concerningintegration, make a significant contribution to the economic development of the hostcountry through their labour, besides that which they make to their country of originthrough the money they send home. Obviously, these labourers cannot be consideredas a commodity or a mere workforce. They must not, therefore, be treated like anyother factor of production. Every migrant is a human person who, as such, possessesfundamental, inalienable rights that must be respected by everyone and in everycircumstance. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 62 *Displacement is not a phenomenon isolated from other social realities. It is the resultof political decisions, of neglect and lack of preventive action, and also of unforeseennatural events. It falls within the responsibility of the State and the internationalcommunity. An adequate response, therefore, is not possible without coherence in theaction of agencies and actors involved and mandated to work for the best solutions.The creative alertness required for such solutions should move the internationalcommunity to undertake new steps in protection. While juridical instruments arenecessary, ultimately a culture of solidarity and the elimination of the root causes ofdisplacement will sustain the protection system. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 59th General Session of the Executive Committee of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Geneva, October 7, 2008 67
  • 69. The needs of emigrants need to be taken into consideration by legislation which wouldmake it easier to reunite families, reconciling the legitimate requirements of securitywith those of inviolable respect for the person. Benedict XVI, Address to the members of the Diplomatic Corps, Rome, January 8, 2009 *Immigrants or members of the local population, human beings are not primarily orsolely an economic, but human beings, endowed with an innate dignity and equal andinalienable rights. [...] Migrants contribute to the welfare of the host country, and alsobecause of their human dignity must be respected and be guaranteed their freedoms:the right to a dignified life, to be treated fairly at work, to have access to ‘ education,health and other social benefits, to develop their expertise to grow from a human pointof view, to express freely their own culture and to practice their religion. But rights andduties go hand in hand. Therefore, at the same time, immigrants have a duty to respectthe identity and the laws of the country of residence, strive for proper integration (notassimilation) into the host society and learn its language. They are to foster anappreciation and respect for the host country, even to the point of loving anddefending it. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the first meeting of the “World Forum on Migration and Development”, Brussels, July 10, 2007 *Respect for the human rights of migrants is essential if mankind is to benefit fully frominternational migration. This is true not only for the people who emigrate, but also forthe countries that send or receive them.It also means that all migrants, regardless of their status, are entitled to enjoy humanrights and that special attention must be given to avoid discrimination and to protectvulnerable migrants such as women, unaccompanied minors, elderly and disabledpersons […] In host countries, family reunification is the best way to promote theintegration of immigrants and to eliminate many problems, especially those related tosecurity and public order. Governments should continue to create conditions wheremigration will never be the only option left to persons in order to find a job and a safeand dignified life. More opportunities for work should be created at home and allmigration policies that undermine the foundations of society, especially the familywhich is its basic nucleus, should be avoided. The possible advantages of emigrationare defeated by the problems that emerge notable in families at risk of disintegration.In this situation those who suffer most are children who often grow up without parentsand are obliged to take upon themselves heavy responsibilities. [...] Migrants are notonly a problem, but also a gift for our society. They help us in our work, force us toopen our minds, our economies and our policies and encourage us to seek new models. 68
  • 70. Only together can we overcome this challenge and open our world to the future whichwe all enjoy. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 2 World Forum on migration and development, nd Manila, 27-30 October 2008 *A cooperative approach to migrations becomes unavoidable and it should be inclusiveof States, intergovernmental bodies, civil society. Non-governmental organizationsand faith-communities in particular, with their ear to the ground and a geographicallydiversified experience, can provide insights and collaboration both in policy formationand in operational assistance. [...] But coherence among the various players seems stillat an initial stage and it would be beneficial if some participation of representatives ofmigrants’ organizations and interests would be included at all levels of policydevelopment. […] Two important dimensions of contemporary migrations are notadequately discussed and paid attention to in the formulation of policies: the victimsof migration flows and the priority that persons have over the economy. […]Aninclusive approach that takes into account all components of the migrants’ journey: thedecisions to emigrate and of how many immigrants to admit; the modalities ofparticipation of various types of migrants in the host society; the role played bymigrants in the economic development and in society; the migrants’ entitlement toprotection and the exercise of their rights, seems the appropriate way to proceed.[…]In the long run, however, a fair and effective solution will come from acomprehensive approach that embraces all policy components: the rights of the Stateand of the receiving community, of the migrants, and of the international commongood. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 94 Session of the Council of the International Organization for Migration, th Geneva, November 29, 2007 *When addressing the issues of migration and development, we must place the needsand concerns of peoples first. Placing the human person at the service of economicor environmental considerations creates the inhuman effect of treating people asobjects rather than subjects. Migration and the urbanization of societies should notbe purely measured in terms of their economic impact. In finding ways to address theserious challenges posed by massive internal and transnational migrations, let us notforget that at the heart of this phenomenon is the human person. Thus we must alsoaddress the reasons why people move, the sacrifices they make, the anguish and thehopes that accompany migrants. Migration often places great strain on migrants, asthey leave behind families and friends, socio-cultural and spiritual networks […]Helping migrants meet their basic needs does not only aid their transition and helpkeep families together. It is also a positive way to encourage them to become 69
  • 71. productive, responsible, law-abiding and contributors to the common good of thesociety. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 41 Session of the Commission on population and development st of the UN Social and Economic Council, New York, April 9, 2008RefugeesAsylum-seekers, irregular migrants, uprooted people looking for survival, andvictims of natural disasters and climate change are confined in hundreds ofdetention centers and makeshift camps. Although far from the media spotlight, theseuntenable situations wreak an immeasurable physical, mental, emotional andspiritual pain and lead to the breaking of the social fabric, destruction of familiesand communities, jeopardizing reconciliation, and threaten the lives of thousands ofinnocent civilians.The primary responsibility of protecting the lives of civilians lies first and foremostwith the national authorities and parties engaged in an armed conflict. While theinternational community strives to prevent the eruption of conflicts, it is imperativethat all parties recognize their responsibility for protecting the lives of civilians inareas under their jurisdiction or control and comply with and fully respect the rulesand principles of international humanitarian law, among them, those related to theprotection of humanitarian personnel and the unimpeded access to people in need.Further, in areas of natural disasters, States must work to promote, and allow accessto, life-saving measures without using them for political control or to condition apolitical guarantee of impunity for violation of human rights. [...] The Holy Seeremains committed to addressing the needs of all individuals affected byhumanitarian and man-made crises regardless of ethnicity and religious creed.Through its many institutions, it remains deeply involved in non-partisanhumanitarian assistance and looks forward to sharing its best practices and ideaswith other stakeholders. Guiding principles of assistance both in natural andhuman-made disasters need to be implemented but before all, we must put at thecentre of all our interventions the person and her material, psychological andspiritual needs. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the Humanitarian Affairs Segment of the UN Economic and Social Council, Geneva, July 20, 2009 *Important humanitarian aid is necessary for the peoples affected by the war; I amthinking especially of displaced persons within the country and refugees who have 70
  • 72. fled abroad, among whom there are many Christians. I invite the internationalcommunity to be generous towards them and towards their host countries, whosecapacities to absorb them have been sorely tested. Benedict XVI, Address to the Diplomatic Corps, January 7, 2008 *Today, therefore, protection remains a concept that can be further enlarged to includepeople with precise protection needs. There are some additional specific observationsthat can enter the protection discussion:a. The right to sufficient food within camps so that refugees do not feel forced to seek employment outside the camps and put themselves at the risk of arrest and deportation;b. The case of new countries becoming more accessible to asylum seekers, as they are located at the outer boundaries of regional political groups to which technical assistance should be provided, in cooperation with the UNHCR, so that their decision-making process be correct;c. The need for adequate channels for legal entry and the critical evaluation of control- only policies so that asylum-seekers may not be forced to take the same routes as irregular migrants, and thus become easily exposed to extortion and abuse within such groups and, without distinction, rejected with them;d. Detention as such should be used as a last resort and avoided when dealing with minors, for whom it is particularly traumatizing. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 42 meeting of the United Nations High Commissioner nd for Refugees (UNHCR) Standing Committee, Geneva, June 28, 2008 *The UNHCR is one of the essential instruments with which States and the internationalcommunity as a whole honour their commitment to protect those who flee their homesfor various reasons. However, such responsibility cannot be merely left to the Office ofthe High Commissioner. Rather, concerned States have the duty to protect thosepersons and sustain them with firm political will and adequate financial resources. Infulfilling their part, States lay a solid basis on which the UNHCR operations can buildupon […] Preoccupations have been expressed that the status of such peoples is caughtin legal grey areas, especially when they move across frontiers of countries or regionswith rigid migration policies. Concerns increase when doubts arise regarding theapplicability of existing international instruments, or when no legal instruments ofprotection exist. It seems therefore urgent to consider a coordinated international effort,with a view to seeking greater clarity in existing legal instruments of protection or, ifneed be, to establishing new ones. 71
  • 73. However, regardless of such legal grey areas and irrespective of their status as refugees,displaced persons or undocumented migrants, their dignity and human rights cannotbe violated nor ignored. Their right to life, to personal security, to liberty of conscienceand of religion, to non discrimination, especially of those most vulnerable like children,come before any legal or political consideration. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 3 Committee of the 62 Session of the UN General Assembly on Refugees, rd nd New York, November 8, 2007 *Looking at the situation of those who request asylum or are refugees, it should bestressed that, as a rule, the legal and procedural approach is limited to considerationsinvolving their entry into the country, without bothering to learn the reasons that ledthese individuals to flee their home country. […] An initial effort could involveimproving the information available on the reality of immigrants and of those whorequest asylum. […] In the countries of first arrival, it is critically important thatinitiatives of education and training be promoted, not only to gain knowledge of othercultures, but also to open up to people who embody such differences, in order togradually implement a process of mutual understanding and respect able toguarantee consistent, effective application of the rules, together with peacefulcoexistence. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 28 Conference of the European Ministers of Justice, th Madrid, 25-26 October 2007 *The respect of the rights of all displaced persons leads to a comprehensive responseand protection so that a globalisation of protection results from a globalisation ofrights. In this way, a more coordinated and effective implementation of existingprotection instruments is possible while new instruments can be developed to remedyexisting gaps, especially regarding vulnerable groups like women and girls, children,the elderly […] Donor fatigue and insufficient funding lead to reduction in foodrations in camps and in failure to provide the necessary minimum basic essentials toaddress needs. The combined effect of this situation impacts the individual and thefamily and leads to a breakdown of values. Reintegration programmes should be inline with the national recovery programme in post-conflict situations and shouldproceed smoothly from emergency assistance to development aid, and so guaranteea sustainable return of forcibly displaced people […] The prevention of conflicts,which always are a source of human rights violations and of massive forceddisplacement, must become the main road in the efforts of the internationalcommunity to eradicate the tragedy of forced displacement. […] the search for somemonitoring mechanism or expert technical group could arrive at practical ways for amore effective implementation of the rights recognized to refugees in the 1951 72
  • 74. Convention and its related Protocol as well as for a more convergent interpretation ofthese basic statutes. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 58th Session of the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva, October 2, 2007 *In the long run a positive and preventive approach would require the transformationof conditions in the places of origin through greater security, respect of human rights,effective political participation, the creation of jobs, and an environment of peace. Butthis local transformation cannot happen without the involvement of the internationalcommunity for better organized and wider legal channels for the movement of peopleand without fair agricultural, financial and trade policies that would not impact in anegative way the poor countries thus triggering forced displacement. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 39th Session of the Permanent Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva, June 25, 2007Trafficking in human beingsThe scourge of trafficking in human beings is a multi-dimensional social phenomenon ofmisery, poverty, greed, corruption, injustice and oppression which manifests itself in sexualexploitation, forced labour, slavery, and the recruitment of minors for armed conflict. Weknow well that the root causes of this phenomenon include economic factors, such as theimbalance between rural and urban wealth levels and the desperate desire to escapepoverty. Juridical and political factors also contribute to the problem, such as the absenceof legislation, and the ignorance of parents and trafficked persons of their rights under thelaw. Mistrust of the law and open borders likewise play a part, as do socio-cultural factors,such as the social acceptability of putting children to work outside of the family, illiteracyor low education levels, acceptance of debt bondage and discrimination against girls.Globalization and the increased movement of people can also make vulnerable groups,such as women and girls, easier prey for traffickers, who clearly have no regard for thedignity of the human person, and who view people as mere commodities to be boughtand sold, used and abused at will […] My delegation would like to underscore thecommitment of the Catholic Church to uphold the dignity of every human life, especiallythe most vulnerable and assure its full support in efforts of the OSCE to eliminate thescourge of trafficking, in particular of women and children, prostitution, and forced labour. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 16th Ministerial Council of the OSCE, Helsinki, December 4, 2008 73
  • 75. Trafficking in human beings is a dreadful offence against human dignity […] The HolySee encourages all kinds of just initiatives aimed at eradicating this immoral andcriminal phenomenon and at promoting the welfare of the victims […] We have toadmit that easy solutions do not exist. Addressing these particular human rights abusesrequires a coherent and integral approach.This should take into account not only the best interests of the victim, but also the justpunishment of those who take advantage of it, and the introduction of preventivemeasures such as, on the one hand, awareness and consciousness raising and, on theother, addressing the root causes of the phenomenon, among which the macroeconomicsituation certainly should not be overlooked. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the Vienna Forum on the fight against “Trafficking in human beings”, Vienna, 13-15 February 2008International TourismAn illustration of the significance of this problem is offered by the phenomenon ofinternational tourism, which can be a major factor in economic development and culturalgrowth, but can also become an occasion for exploitation and moral degradation. Thecurrent situation offers unique opportunities for the economic aspects of development—that is to say the flow of money and the emergence of a significant amount of localenterprise— to be combined with the cultural aspects, chief among which is education.In many cases this is what happens, but in other cases international tourism has anegative educational impact both for the tourist and the local populace. The latter areoften exposed to immoral or even perverted forms of conduct, as in the case of so-calledsex tourism, to which many human beings are sacrificed even at a tender age. It is sadto note that this activity often takes place with the support of local governments, withsilence from those in the tourists’ countries of origin, and with the complicity of manyof the tour operators. Even in less extreme cases, international tourism often follows aconsumerist and hedonistic pattern, as a form of escapism planned in a manner typicalof the countries of origin, and therefore not conducive to authentic encounter betweenpersons and cultures. We need, therefore, to develop a different type of tourism that hasthe ability to promote genuine mutual understanding, without taking away from theelement of rest and healthy recreation. Tourism of this type needs to increase, partlythrough closer coordination with the experience gained from international cooperationand enterprise for development. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 61 74
  • 76. LIFE AND HEALTHHealth CareIf they are faced with cutbacks in international aid or if there is an increased numberof people seeking care, the already fragile public health systems in developingcountries will not be able to respond adequately to the health needs of their mostvulnerable citizens. In addressing this problem, even more than an expression ofsolidarity, it is a matter of justice to overcome the temptation to reduce public servicesfor a short-term benefit against the long-term human cost. In the same line, aid fordevelopment should be maintained and even increased as a critical factor in renewingthe economy and leading us out of the crisis […] Access to primary health care andaffordable life-saving drugs is vital to improving global health and fostering a sharedglobalized response to the basic needs of all. In an increasingly interdependent world,even sickness and viruses have no boundaries, and therefore, greater globalcooperation becomes not only a practical necessity, but more importantly, an ethicalimperative of solidarity. Intervention of the Delegation of the Holy See at the 2009 High-level Segment of ECOSOC, Geneva, July 9, 2009 *Individuals must be able to receive affordable, safe and, where necessary, freediagnostic testing and drugs. Proper diagnosis is available and infected individualscan make full recovery if provided with the adequate means. Efforts should be madeso that appropriate treatment is accessible to those who are suffering.Resources must continue to be allocated to ongoing research into developing new, safeand cost-efficient vaccines as well as medicines to treat those infected. Success in suchendeavors will not fail to translate into gradual reduction in the number of overallinfections. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 63 session of the UN General Assembly, on agenda item 43: rd “2001-2010: Decade to Roll Back Malaria in Developing Countries, Particularly in Africa”, New York, October 15, 2008 *It has been long demonstrated that investing in primary healthcare, rather than inselective, culturally divisive and ideologically driven forms of health services, whichcamouflage the destruction of life among medical and social services, is one of the mostcost effective and successful ways to improve the overall quality of life and the stabilityof families and communities. […] the Holy See, through its institutions, will continue 75
  • 77. to provide basic healthcare, with a preferential option for the most underserved andmarginalized sectors of society. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the Thematic Debate entitled “Recognizing the achievements, addressing the challenges and getting back on track to achieve the MDGs by 2015” at the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly, New York, April 4, 2008 *While continuing the focus on HIV/AIDS, we must enhance our health-care policies oneven more common killer diseases, such as malaria and tuberculosis. An even morefundamental challenge is the lack of access of children and mothers to basic health careand sanitation. As the Secretary-General recently stated, sanitation is one of the mostoverlooked and underserved basic human needs, and international efforts to deliver onthis area have been “lacklustre”. Children are the first victims of such an “unacceptablesituation”. This neglect or lack of focus on basic health care is very costly, given thatbasic medical prevention is often one of the most cost effective and successful ways ofimproving the health and stability of society. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the commemorative high-level plenary meeting devoted to the follow-up to the outcome of the Special Session on Children, New York, 11-12 December 2007LifeThe Church forcefully maintains this link between life ethics and social ethics, fullyaware that “a society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts valuessuch as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand,radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in whichhuman life is devalued and violated, especially where it is weak or marginalized.” Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 15 *Morally responsible openness to life represents a rich social and economic resource. Populousnations have been able to emerge from poverty thanks not least to the size of theirpopulation and the talents of their people. On the other hand, formerly prosperousnations are presently passing through a phase of uncertainty and in some cases decline,precisely because of their falling birth rates; this has become a crucial problem forhighly affluent societies. The decline in births, falling at times beneath the so-called“replacement level”, also puts a strain on social welfare systems, increases their cost,eats into savings and hence the financial resources needed for investment, reduces theavailability of qualified labourers, and narrows the “brain pool” upon which nationscan draw for their needs. Furthermore, smaller and at times miniscule families run the 76
  • 78. risk of impoverishing social relations, and failing to ensure effective forms of solidarity.These situations are symptomatic of scant confidence in the future and moral weariness. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 44 *We need to affirm today that the social question has become a radically anthropologicalquestion, in the sense that it concerns not just how life is conceived but also how it ismanipulated, as bio-technology places it increasingly under man’s control. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 75 *A particularly crucial battleground in today’s cultural struggle between the supremacyof technology and human moral responsibility is the field of bioethics, where the verypossibility of integral human development is radically called into question. In this mostdelicate and critical area, the fundamental question asserts itself force-fully: is man theproduct of his own labours or does he depend on God? Scientific discoveries in thisfield and the possibilities of technological intervention seem so advanced as to force achoice between two types of reasoning: reason open to transcendence or reason closedwithin immanence. We are presented with a clear either/ or. Yet the rationality of aself-centred use of technology proves to be irrational because it implies a decisiverejection of meaning and value. It is no coincidence that closing the door to transcendencebrings one up short against a difficulty: how could being emerge from nothing, howcould intelligence be born from chance?[153] Faced with these dramatic questions, reasonand faith can come to each other’s assistance. Only together will they save man. Entrancedby an exclusive reliance on technology, reason without faith is doomed to flounder in an illusionof its own omnipotence. Faith without reason risks being cut off from everyday life. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 74 *The Holy See for its part never tires of reaffirming these principles and rights, foundedon what is essential and permanent in the human person. The Church willinglyundertakes this service to the true dignity of human persons, created in the image ofGod. And on the basis of these considerations, I cannot but deplore once again thecontinual attacks perpetrated on every continent against human life. I would like torecall, together with many men and women dedicated to research and science, that thenew frontiers reached in bioethics do not require us to choose between science andmorality: rather, they oblige us to a moral use of science. Benedict XVI, Address to the Diplomatic Corps, January 7, 2008 *In a culture subjected to the prevalence of “having’ over “being’, human life risks losingits value. If the practice of sexuality becomes a drug that seeks to enslave one’s partner 77
  • 79. to one’s own desires and interests, without respecting the cycle of the beloved, thenwhat must be defended is no longer solely the true concept of love but in the first placethe dignity of the person. As believers, we could never let the domination of technologyinvalidate the quality of love and the sacredness of life […] Natural law, which is atthe root of the recognition of true equality between persons and peoples, deserves tobe recognized as the source that inspires the relationship between the spouses in theirresponsibility for begetting new children. The transmission of life is inscribed in natureand its laws stand as an unwritten norm to which all must refer. Any attempt to turnone’s gaze away from this principle is in itself barren and does not produce a future. Benedict XVI, Address to participants in the International Congress on the 40th anniversary of the encyclical ‘Humanae Vitae’, May 10, 2008 *We must be guided by the best healthcare tradition that respects and promotes the rightto life from conception until natural death for all regardless of race, disability,nationality, religion, sex and socio-economic status. Failure to place the promotion oflife at the center of health care decisions results in a society in which an individual’sabsolute right to basic health care and life would be limited by the ability to pay, by theperceived quality of life and other subjective decisions which sacrifice life and healthin exchange for short-term social, economic and political advantage.Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 2009 High-Level Segment Of ECOSOC, Geneva, July 9, 2009 *With regard to those who require special protection, let us never ignore or deny thevery right to life among those whose conditions are most vulnerable and may entirelydepend on being safeguarded by others. Particular cases in point are children in thewomb and those suffering from grave and life-threatening illnesses […] no compromisecan be made with a person’s right to life itself, from conception to natural death, norwith that person’s ability to enjoy the dignity which flows from that right. […] Urgentattention much be accorded to such issues since, in many countries, refugees, othermigrants, and internally-displaced persons are deprived by host governments even ofthe most basic life-saving health services. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 7 ordinary session of the Human Rights Council, th Geneva, March 11, 2008 *Too often in addressing the role of the ICPD on maternal health, attempts are made topromote a notion of sexual and reproductive health which is detrimental to unbornhuman life and the integral needs of women and men within society. Efforts to addressmaternal mortality, obstetric fistula, child mortality, prenatal and antenatal care, 78
  • 80. sexually transmitted diseases and other health matters are hampered by sanitarypolicies which fail to take into account the right to life of the unborn child and promotebirth control as a development policy and disguised health service. Suggesting thatreproductive health includes a right to abortion explicitly violates the language of theICPD, defies moral and legal standards within local communities and divides efforts toaddress the real needs of mothers and children. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 64 Session of the UN General Assembly on agenda 48: th “Commemoration of the International Conference on population and development”, New York, October 13, 2009DrugsTo imagine living in a society free of drugs, national governments must find thepolitical will to root out drug use once and for all, though there are some who believethat drug use has become such an ingrained part of our daily lives that the only thingto do is to try and limit the damage.Based on the far-reaching activities of the organisations and institutions of the CatholicChurch active in the sector, we know that the replacement of drugs with other drugsover the years has only worsened the situation, rendering the addiction chronic,without addressing the fundamental question of the meaning of life, which, as we seeit, constitutes the core problem. […] On this subject, the Church stimulates and supportsall efforts of the international community and of men of good will to fight against druguse in the course of enforcing the law, promoting international cooperation andimplementing policies centred around a strategy for restoring the drug addict’s respectfor life and individual dignity, while involving the family as a primary educationalunit and obtaining a positive and multifaceted contribution from the forces, institutionsand associations of society engaged in assisting drug addicts, in accordance with thenoble principles and values of love and solidarity. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 52 Session of the UN Commission against drugs, nd Vienna, March 12, 2009HIV/AIDSIt is especially hard to combat AIDS, a major cause of poverty, unless the moral issuesconnected with the spread of the virus are also addressed. First and foremost,educational campaigns are needed, aimed especially at the young, to promote a sexualethic that fully corresponds to the dignity of the person; initiatives of this kind havealready borne important fruits, causing a reduction in the spread of AIDS. Then, too, 79
  • 81. the necessary medicines and treatment must be made available to poorer peoples aswell. This presupposes a determined effort to promote medical research and innovativeforms of treatment, as well as flexible application, when required, of the internationalrules protecting intellectual property, so as to guarantee necessary basic healthcare toall people. Benedict XVI, Message for the celebration of the World Day of Peace, n. 4 January 1, 2009 *I would say that this problem of AIDS cannot be overcome merely with money,necessary though it is. If there is no human dimension, [...] the problem cannot beovercome by the distribution of prophylactics: on the contrary, they increase it. Thesolution must have two elements: firstly, bringing out the human dimension ofsexuality, that is to say a spiritual and human renewal that would bring with it a newway of behaving towards others, and secondly, true friendship offered above all tothose who are suffering, a willingness to make sacrifices and to practise self-denial, tobe alongside the suffering. And so these are the factors that help and that lead to realprogress: our twofold effort to renew humanity inwardly, to give spiritual and humanstrength for proper conduct towards our bodies and those of others, and this capacityto suffer with those who are suffering, to remain present in situations of trial. It seemsto me that this is the proper response, and the Church does this, thereby offering anenormous and important contribution. Benedict XVI, Interview during the flight to Africa, March 17, 2009 *HIV/AIDS calls into question the values by which we live our lives and how we treat,or fail to treat, one another.Community-based care and worldwide support for those suffering from this diseaseremain essential. Home-based care is the preferred means of care in many social andcultural settings, and is often more sustainable and successful over the long term whenbased within communities. In fact, when many members of a community are involvedin care and support, there is less likely to be stigma associated with the disease.Unfortunately, community- and home-based care is largely unrecognized, and manycaregivers face precarious financial situations. Very little of the funds spent every yearon providing assistance to those who are suffering as well as on much needed researchto combat the disease go to supporting them. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 53 Session of the Commission of the Status of Women of the ECOSOC, rd New York, March 9, 2009 80
  • 82. Providing information and opportunities for an education respectful of naturally basedvalues is essential both in the development of scientific advancement and for personalprevention [...] My delegation encourages all States to be more forthcoming inproviding accurate numbers with respect to monitoring and evaluation, howeverdifficult this may be. A factual understanding as to where the world community standson this matter will serve us well as we attempt to address all the problems associatedwith HIV/AIDS and to care for all. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 61 Session of the UN General Assembly on HIV/AIDS, st New York, May 22, 2007 *While progress has been made in reducing child mortality, there has been slowerprogress in addressing maternal health, HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. Theoverriding cause of the slow progress has been the lack of resources at the most basiclevels of healthcare and the continued lack of access to even basic health services. Ithas been long demonstrated that investing in primary healthcare, rather than inselective, culturally divisive and ideologically driven forms of health services, whichcamouflage the destruction of life among medical and social services, is one of the mostcost effective and successful ways to improve the overall quality of life and the stabilityof families and communities. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 62rd Session of the UN General Assembly, New York, April 4, 2008 81
  • 83. SOCIAL ISSUESFamilyIn fact, the home is called to live and to foster reciprocal love and truth, respect andjustice, loyalty and collaboration, service and availability to others, especially theweakest. [...] Coexistence in the home is a gift for people and a source of inspiration forsocial coexistence, showing that freedom and solidarity are complementary, that thegood of each one must take into account the good of the others and that strict justicedemands openness to understanding and forgiveness for the sake of the common good.Indeed, social relations can take as a reference point the values that constitute authenticfamily life in order to become increasingly humanized every day and directed towardsbuilding “the civilization of love”.Furthermore, the family is also a vital cell of society, the first and decisive resource forits development. It is also, frequently, the last resort for people whose needs theestablished structures cannot meet satisfactorily.Because of its essential role in society, the family has a right to have its proper identityrecognized that is not to be confused with other forms of coexistence. It is likewiseentitled to expect proper cultural, legal, financial, social, and health-care protectionand, most particularly, to receive support that, taking into account the number ofchildren, provides sufficient financial resources to allow it to choose the type ofeducation and school freely.It is therefore necessary to promote a family culture and policy that the familiesthemselves can develop in an organized manner. Benedict XVI, Message to participants at the recitation of Holy Rosary on the occasion of the 6th World Meeting of Families held in Mexico City, January 17, 2009 *Smaller and at times miniscule families run the risk of impoverishing social relations,and failing to ensure effective forms of solidarity. These situations are symptomatic ofscant confidence in the future and moral weariness. It is thus becoming a social andeven economic necessity once more to hold up to future generations the beauty ofmarriage and the family, and the fact that these institutions correspond to the deepestneeds and dignity of the person. In view of this, States are called to enact policiespromoting the centrality and the integrity of the family founded on marriage between a manand a woman, the primary vital cell of society, and to assume responsibility for itseconomic and fiscal needs, while respecting its essentially relational character. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 44 83
  • 84. Echoing the principles enshrined in the said Convention, the 2002 Special Sessionreaffirms the family as the basic unit of society, providing the best environment forchildren to acquire knowledge, cultivate good qualities and develop positive attitudesto become responsible citizens. It is therefore in everyone’s interest to motivate parentsto take personal responsibility in the education of their children and strengthen thefamily. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the Commemorative High-Level Plenary Meeting on the follow-up to the outcome of the special session on children at the 62nd Session of the UN General Assembly, n. 3, New York, 11-12 December 2007 *Moreover, a woman’s personal sense of dignity is not primarily the result of juridicallydefined rights, but rather the direct consequence of the material and spiritual care shereceives in the bosom of the family. The presence of a mother within the family is soimportant for the stability and growth of this fundamental cell of society, that it shouldbe recognized, commended and supported in every possible way. For the same reason,society must hold husbands and fathers accountable for their responsibilities towardstheir families.Dear families, you have undoubtedly noticed that no human couple, alone and on itsown strength, can adequately offer children love and a genuine understanding of life.In fact, in order to say to someone, “your life is good even though you don’t know whatthe future will bring”, there needs to be a higher and more trustworthy authority thanparents alone can offer. Christians know that this higher authority has been given to thelarger family which God, through his Son Jesus Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit,has established within human history, namely the Church. We find at work here theeternal and indestructible love which guarantees to each of us that our life will alwayshave meaning, even if we do not know what the future will bring. For this reason, thebuilding up of every Christian family takes place within the larger family, the Church,which sustains the domestic family and holds it close to her heart, giving it theassurance that it is protected, now and in the future, by the “yes” of the Creator. Benedict XVI, Meeting with catholic movements for the promotion of women, Luanda, March 22, 2009Social IntegrationIndeed, we could lose the opportunity to make a properly Christian contribution to thesolution of the grave problems of our time. It would not be at all wise, especially now,to spend our time asking who has suffered the most or presenting an account ofinjustices suffered, listing the reasons which reinforce one’s own argument. This hasoften happened in the past, with results which to say the least were disappointing. 84
  • 85. Suffering in the end affects everyone, and when one person suffers he should first of allwish to understand how much someone else in a similar situation suffers. Patient andhumble dialogue, achieved through listening to each other and being intent uponunderstanding someone else’s situation has already borne positive results in manycountries previously devastated by violence and revenge. A little more trust in thecompassion of others, especially those suffering, cannot but bear efficacious results.Today, many parties rightly plead for this interior disposition... Through you, mydearly beloved, I wish to make an appeal to your fellow citizens, men and women ofthe different Christian confessions, of different religions and all who honestly seekpeace, justice and solidarity by listening and sincere dialogue. I say to you all: perseverewith courage and trust! I appeal to those who hold positions of responsibility in guidingevents to cultivate that sensitivity, attentiveness and closeness which surpass schemesand strategies so that they can build societies that are more peaceful and just, trulyrespectful of every human being. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the International Conference organized by the United Nations Committee for the exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, Rome, 22-23 March 2007 *Various objections have been raised against the draft Declaration as it currently stands.Some say that the DRIP contradicts national constitutions and that self-determinationonly concerns those who used to live under colonial rule. Others suggest that the DRIPis unclear on what constitutes “indigenous people”, while still claiming to support theDeclaration, in spite of substantive concerns. While respecting the motivations behindeach position, the Holy See wishes to reiterate the particular importance it attaches tothe Instrument under consideration and encourages UN member States to showflexibility and social farsightedness with a view to reaching an agreement during thepresent session of the General Assembly. My delegation believes that such a politicalgesture would not only profit the poorest and most excluded citizens in both rich andpoor countries of the world, but would also enhance peace among peoples and fosterthe just and equitable enjoyment of human rights by all. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 6 Session of the UN Permanent Forum on indigenous issues, th New York, May 16, 2007 *The challenges ahead of us demand more effective strategies in combating racism, racialdiscrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. These are evils that corrode thesocial fabric of society and produce innumerable victims. The first step for a practicalsolution lies in an integral education that includes ethical and spiritual values whichwill favour the empowerment of vulnerable groups like refugees, migrants and peopleon the move, racial and cultural minorities, people prisoners of extreme poverty or who 85
  • 86. are ill and disabled, and girls and women still stigmatized as inferior in some societieswhere an irrational fear of differences prevent full participation in social life. […] Inorder to achieve coherence among the various structures and mechanisms designed tocounteract racial attitudes and behaviour, it is necessary to undertake a newexamination aimed at making the various approaches more incisive and efficient.Thirdly, the universal ratification of major instruments against racism anddiscrimination, such as the International Convention on the Elimination of All Formsof Racial Discrimination and the International Convention on the Protection of theRights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, will signal the politicalwill of the international community to fight all expressions of racism. Finally, there isno substitute for fair national legislation that explicitly condemns all forms of racismand discrimination and enables all citizens to participate publicly in the life of theircountry on the basis of equality in both duties and rights. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the UN Bureau and specialized agencies at the Durban Review Conference, Geneva, April 22, 2009 *Further, national policies which foster greater inclusion and protection of religious,racial and ethnic minorities remain key priorities for fostering greater dialogue andunderstanding between and amongst populations […] International community has amoral responsibility to fulfil its various commitments. Through providing financial andtechnical support, the international community can help create the means andmechanisms for responding quickly to evolving humanitarian crises. In this regard,local organizations, including faith-based organizations, with a long-term knowledgeand understanding of the region, provide vital support in building cultural andreligious bridges between groups. In addition, greater financial support fromdeveloped countries to alleviate extreme poverty serves to help reduce long termeconomic and political divides and helps to ease some of the motivating factors behindviolence. Finally, promotion of the rule of law at the national and international levelprovides the framework for preventing ongoing injustices and provides the mechanismto ensuring that those responsible for perpetuating these crimes are held accountablein a way which promotes justice and lasting peace. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 97th Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly, New York, July 28, 2009 *In families, the traditional roles that existed in the countries of origin have brokendown, and a clash is often seen between parents still tied to their culture and childrenquickly acculturated in the new social contexts. Likewise, the difficulty should not beunderestimated which the young people find in getting inserted into the educationalcourse of study in force in the country where they are hosted. Therefore, the scholastic 86
  • 87. system itself should take their conditions into consideration and provide specificformative paths of integration for the immigrant boys and girls that are suited to theirneeds. The commitment will also be important to create a climate of mutual respectand dialogue among all the students in the classrooms based on the universal principlesand values that are common to all cultures. Everyone’s commitment —teachers,families and students— will surely contribute to helping the young migrants to face inthe best way possible the challenge of integration and offer them the possibility toacquire what can aid their human, cultural and professional formation. This holds evenmore for the young refugees for whom adequate programs will have to be prepared,both in the scholastic and the work contexts, in order to guarantee their preparationand provide the necessary bases for a correct insertion into the new social, cultural andprofessional world. Benedict XVI, Message on the occasion of the 94th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, October 18, 2007 *Yet we know that other, non-material forms of poverty exist which are not the directand automatic consequence of material deprivation. For example, in advanced wealthysocieties, there is evidence of marginalization, as well as affective, moral and spiritualpoverty, seen in people whose interior lives are disoriented and who experience variousforms of malaise despite their economic prosperity. On the one hand, I have in mindwhat is known as “moral under development”, and on the other hand the negativeconsequences of “super-development”. Nor can I forget that, in so-called “poor”societies, economic growth is often hampered by cultural impediments which lead toinefficient use of available resources. Benedict XVI, Message for the celebration of the World Day of Peace, n. 2, January 1, 2009Means of Social CommunicationLinked to technological development is the increasingly pervasive presence of themeans of social communications […] Social communications increase the possibilities ofinterconnection and the dissemination of ideas, it does not follow that they promotefreedom or internationalize development and democracy for all. To achieve goals ofthis kind, they need to focus on promoting the dignity of persons and peoples, theyneed to be clearly inspired by charity and placed at the service of truth, of the good, andof natural and supernatural fraternity. In fact, human freedom is intrinsically linkedwith these higher values. The media can make an important contribution towards thegrowth in communion of the human family and the ethos of society when they are usedto promote universal participation in the common search for what is just. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 73 87
  • 88. Those who are active in the production and dissemination of new media content,therefore, should strive to respect the dignity and worth of the human person. If thenew technologies are to serve the good of individuals and of society, all users willavoid the sharing of words and images that are degrading of human beings, thatpromote hatred and intolerance, that debase the goodness and intimacy of humansexuality or that exploit the weak and vulnerable […] The new digital arena, theso-called cyberspace, allows them to encounter and to know each other’s traditions andvalues. Such encounters, if they are to be fruitful, require honest and appropriate formsof expression together with attentive and respectful listening. The dialogue must berooted in a genuine and mutual searching for truth if it is to realize its potential topromote growth in understanding and tolerance. Life is not just a succession of eventsor experiences: it is a search for the true, the good and the beautiful. It is to this end thatwe make our choices; it is for this that we exercise our freedom; it is in this -in truth,in goodness, and in beauty- that we find happiness and joy. We must not allowourselves to be deceived by those who see us merely as consumers in a market ofundifferentiated possibilities, where choice itself becomes the good, novelty usurpsbeauty, and subjective experience displaces truth […] It is gratifying to note theemergence of new digital networks that seek to promote human solidarity, peace andjustice, human rights and respect for human life and the good of creation. Thesenetworks can facilitate forms of co-operation between people from differentgeographical and cultural contexts that enable them to deepen their common humanityand their sense of shared responsibility for the good of all. We must, therefore, striveto ensure that the digital world, where such networks can be established, is a world thatis truly open to all. It would be a tragedy for the future of humanity if the newinstruments of communication, which permit the sharing of knowledge andinformation in a more rapid and effective manner, were not made accessible to thosewho are already economically and socially marginalized, or if it should contribute onlyto increasing the gap separating the poor from the new networks that are developingat the service of human socialization and information. Benedict XVI, Message for the 43rd World Communications Day, 24 May 2009 *The social communications media, in particular, because of their educational potential,have a special responsibility for promoting respect for the family, making clear itsexpectations and rights, and presenting all its beauty. Benedict XVI, Message for the celebration of the World Day of Peace, n. 5 January 1, 2008 *There is a further aspect which must be acknowledged and collectively addressed ifthis abhorrent human exploitation is to be effectively confronted. I am referring to thetrivialization of sexuality in the media and entertainment industries which fuels a 88
  • 89. decline in moral values and leads to the degradation of men and women and even theabuse of children. Intervention by the Delegation of the Holy See at the 16th Ministerial Council of the OSCE, hHelsinki, December 4, 2008TechnologyTechnology, viewed in it, is ambivalent. If on the one hand, some today would beinclined to entrust the entire process of development to technology, on the other handwe are witnessing an upsurge of ideologies that deny in toto the very value ofdevelopment, viewing it as radically anti-human and merely a source of degradation.This leads to a rejection, not only of the distorted and unjust way in which progress issometimes directed, but also of scientific discoveries themselves, which, if well used,could serve as an opportunity of growth for all. The idea of a world withoutdevelopment indicates a lack of trust in man and in God. It is therefore a serious mistaketo undervalue human capacity to exercise control over the deviations of developmentor to overlook the fact that man is constitutionally oriented towards “being more”.Idealizing technical progress, or contemplating the utopia of a return to humanity’soriginal natural state, are two contrasting ways of detaching progress from its moralevaluation and hence from our responsibility. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 14 *The challenge of development today is closely linked to technological progress, with itsastounding applications in the field of biology. Technology —it is worth emphasizing—is a profoundly human reality, linked to the autonomy and freedom of man. Intechnology we express and confirm the hegemony of the spirit over matter. “Thehuman spirit, ‘increasingly free of its bondage to creatures, can be more easily drawnto the worship and contemplation of the Creator’”. Technology enables us to exercisedominion over matter, to reduce risks, to save labour, to improve our conditions of life.It touches the heart of the vocation of human labour: in technology, seen as the productof his genius, man recognizes himself and forges his own humanity. Technology is theobjective side of human action whose origin and raison d’etre is found in the subjectiveelement: the worker himself. For this reason, technology is never merely technology. Itreveals man and his aspirations towards development; it expresses the inner tensionthat impels him gradually to overcome material limitations. Technology, in this sense, isa response to God’s command to till and to keep the land (cf. Gen 2:15) that he has entrustedto humanity, and it must serve to reinforce the covenant between human beings and theenvironment, a covenant that should mirror God’s creative love.Technological development can give rise to the idea that technology is self-sufficientwhen too much attention is given to the “how” questions, and not enough to the many 89
  • 90. “why” questions underlying human activity. For this reason technology can appearambivalent. Produced through human creativity as a tool of personal freedom,technology can be understood as a manifestation of absolute freedom, the freedom thatseeks to prescind from the limits inherent in things. The process of globalization couldreplace ideologies with technology, allowing the latter to become an ideological powerthat threatens to confine us within an a priori that holds us back from encounteringbeing and truth. Were that to happen, we would all know, evaluate and make decisionsabout our life situations from within a technocratic cultural perspective to which wewould belong structurally, without ever being able to discover a meaning that is not ofour own making. The “technical” worldview that follows from this vision is now sodominant that truth has come to be seen as coinciding with the possible. But when thesole criterion of truth is efficiency and utility, development is automatically denied.True development does not consist primarily in “doing”. The key to development is amind capable of thinking in technological terms and grasping the fully human meaningof human activities, within the context of the holistic meaning of the individual’s being.Even when we work through satellites or through remote electronic impulses, ouractions always remain human, an expression of our responsible freedom. Technologyis highly attractive because it draws us out of our physical limitations and broadens ourhorizon. But human freedom is authentic only when it responds to the fascination of technologywith decisions that are the fruit of moral responsibility. Hence the pressing need forformation in an ethically responsible use of technology. Moving beyond the fascinationthat technology exerts, we must re-appropriate the true meaning of freedom, which isnot intoxication with total autonomy, but a response to the call of being, beginning withour own personal being. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, ns. 69-70 90

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