The undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Guzman Carriquiry Lecour, said in an address this week that human rights are based on natural law and that denying this truth opens the door to relativism.
During a ceremony in which he was awarded an honorary Doctorate by the University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Carriquiry said, “What they are trying to do is turn into individual rights that which attacks fundamental human rights of the person.”
During his extensive discourse, he pointed out that 60 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a “relativist derivative” exists in which “new rights are imposed” that stem from the “arbitrary desires” of certain groups or individuals.
“Are we not the witnesses of opinion campaigns and pressure from international powers to foster national legislation to introduce forms of liberalizing abortion and unrestricted bioethical manipulations, of making same-sex unions the equivalent of marriage, of promoting eugenic and euthanasia practices,” Carriquiry said.
Quoting Jacques Maritain, he recalled that “human rights cannot be arbitrary, they must be universally applied and be well-founded upon reason.” Rights, he said, “are not oblivious or evident by themselves.”
“If human rights are not established, they are left baseless,” he added. “They remain at the mercy of whoever is in power” and only reflect a government that is merely democratic in name.