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    Friday, September 29, 2006

    We just can't get better. Damn fallen nature.

    A “new barbarism” based upon an ideology of power is being bred, threatening world peace and fracturing the international community, the Vatican said at the United Nations, pointing to religion as a catalyst to lead the world to unity through dialogue.


    In a Sept. 27 speech on the closing day of the 61st session of the U.N. General Assembly's ministerial meeting, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, president of the commission governing the Vatican City State, told the 192-member U.N. General Assembly that terrorists as well as “superpowers, regional powers, aspiring powers and oppressed peoples” have all come at times to mistakenly yield to the belief that force bring about a just order.

    Among fundamental human rights, I would like to draw attention to three primary rights:

    a) Te right to life: the increasing recognition of the sacredness of life, witnessed also by the growing rejection of the death penalty, needs to be matched by a thorough protection of human life precisely when it is at its weakest, that is, at its very beginning and at its natural end;

    b) The right to religious freedom: the respect for religious freedom is the respect for the intimate relationship of the believing person with God – both in its individual and social aspects – of which there is nothing more sacred;

    c) The right to freedom of thought and expression, including freedom to hold opinions without interference and to exchange ideas and information and the consequent freedom of the press: the observance of this right is necessary for the fulfillment of each person, for the respect of cultures and for the progress of science.

    We must acknowledge, however, that not all fundamental rights – and in particular the three which I have mentioned – are adequately protected in every nation, and, in not a few, they are openly denied, even among States sitting on the Human Rights Council.

    Like the old League of Nations, we probably need a new place, a new
    building, and new people. That last segment will be the hardest.


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