The Archbishop of Valencia, Cardinal Agustin Garcia-Gasco, said this week that human dignity “is not subordinate to the decisions of particular States or to local customs or to any ideological proposal,” but rather is proper to the human person, created in the image and likeness of God.
In his weekly letter, the cardinal stressed that at a time when “rights for animals a recognized,” but “human beings in their embryonic and prenatal phase are left without rights,” human dignity needs to be upheld.
“We were all embryos, we all developed under the hearts of our mothers, we all received the necessary care to come to be what we are,” the cardinal said.
He acknowledged the need to protect nature and animals, “but that does not make them members of the human family.” “The equality of inalienable rights is proper to the human being,” he explained, and that is “the logic behind the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of our Constitution.”
“Christian revelation and its application to the rights of persons protects those who are weakest,” the cardinal continued, warning that “ignoring the human rights of the weak can never be called progress,” but rather means “going backwards towards the darkest eras of human history in which the strongest imposed their violence on the weakest.”
“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was intended to put an end to those dark eras. We Catholics must be sensitive to putting into practice the culture of life and offering life and hope-giving solutions to all people, especially to those who are in difficult situations,” the cardinal stated.