Bertone emphasizes religious freedom, right to life in first meeting with diplomats
Bertone emphasizes religious freedom, right to life in first meeting with diplomats

.- Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, newly installed Secretary of State for the Holy See, met today with the many diplomats to the Holy See at the Vatican.  Bertone said the most important area of concern for diplomats must be the dignity, freedom, and respect for the human rights of all human beings – especially their freedom of religion and right life.  

Speaking at the “Duke’s Hall” Cardinal Bertone, offered his thanks for the many messages of welcome and good wishes he received on his appointment September 15th.
 
Laying out his overarching vision of the role of diplomats, Bertone said the world hopes that the diplomats will be "artisans of peace, men of law, reason, sincere dialogue and promote a renewed impulse of solidarity between peoples, especially in rethinking the problem of debts of the poorest countries, so that no longer will any person, especially children, die of hunger or endemic illnesses, no longer will people be innocent victims of wars or local conflicts, nor poorly treated because of their convictions or beliefs".
 
Turning to specific issues, the cardinal said, "Our main preoccupation must be the dignity, the freedom and the unconditional respect of all human beings as to his fundamental rights, in particular his freedom of conscience and religion".
 
"As diplomats,” he said, you “are particularly attentive to these sensitive problems founds throughout the world. I am thinking especially about all forms of violence inflicted on women, children born and to be born. The defense of life, from its conception to its natural end, as well as the defense of the family based on marriage, are also essential themes in social life".
 
The Cardinal said the areas where the greatest difficulties lie, "difficulty of the bond between the prophetic aspect and the concrete necessities of life - which must also be considered by a humane ethos, especially in the context of violence, private or organized, marked also by the plurality of opinions confronting each other".
 
These domains include "social defense to guarantee the objective order and the defense of human rights; the condemnation of war, on the ethical level and its exclusion as a means to resolve possible differences between nations; security, favoring the non -military members and in turn reinforce the political, economic and social structures; disarmament, which must include all types of weapons, and thus become a generality, also including the objective of 'unilateral disarmament', which contains a great ethical and positive value."
 
He continued saying that "Research by intellectuals and reflection by the organisms of the Church and Christian communities must never stop looking at these themes."
 
"The documents of the Holy See, and above all those of the Magisterium of the post-war Popes - the Secretary of State concluded - are not texts lightly read, or even worse, to be ignored. These are texts which must be read carefully and meditated upon, so that the ideas may be translated into practical acts, and that the world may recognize the force and actuality of the Christian message (...) with which the Christians act in favor of peace, today, for all men." 

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