New York City, N.Y., Sep 23, 2021 / 01:00 am
The Vatican’s foreign minister on Wednesday addressed heads of state at the United Nations, noting that the Church is “engaged in combating all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.”
“Racism is rooted in the erroneous and evil claim that one human being has less dignity than another. This not only disregards the truth that ‘all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights,’ but also the foundational ethical summons to act toward “one another in a spirit of brotherhood,” said Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States at the Vatican Secretariat of State.
Archbishop Gallagher addressed the UN high-level meeting Sept. 22 to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, an agreement between states to address racism and racial discrimination.
“Universal human rights are indivisible and interdependent and thus cannot exist in opposition,” he noted. “Laws and norms that seek to root out discrimination and intolerance must therefore respect the right to freedom of opinion, thought, religion, and conscience. Monitoring, investigating, and prosecuting incidents of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance should never become a justification for States to violate the human rights of minorities or to censor minority opinions.”