Migliore began his address to the world body by first recalling the
words of Pope Benedict XVI who, earlier this year, called on men and
women of good will to unite in order to overcome the phenomenon of
terrorism and build a just and peaceful society.
representative said that the Pope feels “consideration should be given”
not only to the political and social causes of terrorism, “but also to
its deeper cultural, religious and ideological motivations."
For this reason,
he said that the Holy See "is pleased to note that" the United Nations
report on the subject "incorporates a cultural and religious component
in its global strategy."
He stressed that
"The Holy See is willing to support initiatives that encourage
believers to be agents of peace. ... Moreover, when religion's true
nature is rightly understood and lived out, it can become part of the
solution rather than the problem."
He went on,
saying that the United Nations should "encourage religions to make this
important contribution on their own terms: that is, religions are
called to create, support and promote the precondition of every
encounter, every dialogue, and of every understanding of pluralism and
cultural difference. That precondition ... is the dignity of the human
This fact, the
archbishop said, is of particular importance because "Our common human
dignity is a true precondition because it comes before every other
consideration or methodological principle, even those of international
law. We see it in the 'Golden Rule,' found throughout the religions of
In this light,
he said that "Encouraging awareness and experience of this common
heritage ... will surely help in the translation of this positive
vision into political and social categories which will, in their turn,
inform the juridical categories linked to national and international
Stealing the wind from terrorists
U.N. observer pointed out that "the political, social and economic
exclusion of immigrant communities stokes the frustration of young
people and has led to breakdowns in order in some places; but the
demand for a just solution to these questions remains a legitimate one.
such questions swiftly and justly,” he said, “nations can rob
terrorists of the oxygen of hatred and of grievances, real or imagined,
by which they attempt to legitimize their evil deeds and recruit the
Archbishop Migliore said in closing, “must be characterized by denying
the moral high ground to terrorists. This is just one reason why the
treatment of terrorists and suspects should be according to
international humanitarian norms."
Holy See’s Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer to the
United Nations, was in New York yesterday to take part in a General
Assembly meeting gathered to explore counter terrorism strategies. The
prelate stressed the need not only for political solutions, but also
cultural and religious ones.