.- Bishop Anthony Frontiero, an official for the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said during the annual summit on Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, that true democracy cannot survive without truth and religious values.
“In the noble pursuit of democracy,” Frontiero told the organization, “it is critical to resist the tendency to claim that agnosticism and skeptical relativism are the philosophy and basic attitude which correspond to the democratic forms of political life.”
“Often times, those who are convinced that they know the truth and firmly adhere to it are considered unreliable from a democratic point of view, since they do not accept that truth is necessarily determined by the majority, or that it is subject to variation according to different political trends,” he added.
The Bishop highlighted the Holy See’s conviction that, “if there is no ultimate truth to guide and direct political activity, then ideas and convictions can easily be manipulated for reasons of power. As history demonstrates, a democracy without values can easily turn into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism.”
Finally, regarding the role of the state in social life, Bishop Frontiero said that “precisely because of the social embeddedness of human dignity, the Holy See has consistently linked human rights with responsibility, and recognizes that government still has a responsibility to reign in or modify subsidiary action that is detrimental to the good of the whole or injurious to the welfare of some members.”