.- Continual attacks against human life that are being launched around the world must be addressed by today’s intercultural and inter-religious discussion, Pope Benedict told the diplomatic corps this morning.
Expressing the unflagging efforts of the Church to support human rights, the Holy Father said, "In every continent the Catholic Church strives to ensure that human rights are not only proclaimed but put into practice.”
“The Church willingly undertakes this service to the true dignity of human persons, created in the image of God. And on the basis of these considerations, I cannot but deplore once again the continual attacks perpetrated on every continent against human life", said the Pope.
While he rejoiced that “on 18 December the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution calling upon States to institute a moratorium on the use of the death penalty”, the Pontiff said that he sees multiple threats against human life.
"I regret, once again, the disturbing threats to the integrity of the family, founded on the marriage of a man and a woman. Political leaders, of whatever kind, should defend this fundamental institution, the basic cell of society", he said.
Religious freedom is another area where the Pope sees human dignity and human rights as being attacked. According to the Pope, “There are many places where this right cannot be fully exercised. The Holy See defends it, demands that it be universally respected, and views with concern discrimination against Christians and against the followers of other religions.”
Calling for actions that bring about real peace, Benedict XVI declared, "Peace cannot be a mere word or a vain aspiration. Peace is a commitment and a manner of life which demands that the legitimate aspirations of all should be satisfied, such as access to food, water and energy, to medicine and technology, or indeed the monitoring of climate change.”
Actions stemming from this way of life are the “Only in this way can we build the future of humanity; only in this way can we facilitate an integral development valid for today and tomorrow", the Pontiff said.
"Finally,” the Pope urged the diplomats, “I wish to urge the international community to make a global commitment on security. A joint effort on the part of States to implement all the obligations undertaken and to prevent terrorists from gaining access to weapons of mass destruction would undoubtedly strengthen the nuclear non- proliferation regime and make it more effective".
"Diplomacy is, in a certain sense, the art of hope", the Pope concluded. "It lives from hope and seeks to discern even its most tenuous signs. Diplomacy must give hope. ... May God open the hearts of those who govern the family of peoples to the hope that never disappoints!"