“The Holy See believes that while depriving human rights of their original universal dimension, these new partial interpretations sadly become the ideological benchmark of spurious ‘progress’ and another ground for polarization and division,” Parolin continued. “Sadly, we are facing this in the constant pursuit of introducing controversial new agendas that drive U.N. processes contrary to the bodies’ given mandates.”
“In an age in which many universal human rights continue to be violated with impunity, these attempts in fact confuse, divert from implementing the human rights conventions, and impede the attention and energy that the promotion and protection of fundamental human rights and dignity deserve,” he said.
He encouraged the U.N. to renew itself through returning to its core principles and living up to its true aims, “rather than becoming a tool of the powerful.”
Parolin worried about the pandemic’s negative effects on development programs and sustainable development goals. Sustainable development must incorporate the poor, including “their gifts and creativity as agents of their own integral development.”
Discussing climate change, Parolin said the U.N. Climate Change Conference, to be held in Glasgow Oct. 31-Nov. 12, is an important opportunity for the international community to “to “commit anew to the protection of our common home.” He lamented “decades of inaction” and noted many recent extreme weather events. However, he praised technological advances and the decreasing costs of “clean energy,” saying they make it easier for governments and individuals to make environmentally conscious choices.
The cardinal warned against the dangers of weapons of mass destruction. Nuclear weapons are possessed “under the guise of nuclear deterrence” but the threat of their use “creates an ethos of fear based on mutual annihilation, and poisons relationships between peoples, obstructs dialogue, and undermines hope.” He called for progress towards nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and prohibition.
Among the most serious concerns of Pope Francis, the cardinal reported, are the “crisis of human relationships” and “a way of life dominated by selfishness and by the culture of waste” that tramples human dignity.
“Our societies today are the theater of many injustices where human beings are maltreated, exploited, ignored, killed, or left to languish in humanitarian emergencies,” said Parolin. “Women and girls, persons from different indigenous, racial, ethnic, and linguistic backgrounds experience violence and oppression or are reduced to second-class citizens.”
Humanitarian law is treated “as a recommendation rather than an obligation,” he lamented.
“Refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons are increasingly left in limbo or even left to drown, unwelcome and unable to find a new home to raise their family in dignity, peace and security,” he continued. “Religious believers endure harassment, persecution, death and even genocide on account of their faith. The elderly and persons with disabilities are cast aside, especially when they are frail or considered burdensome. Innocent children are deemed problematic, discarded by society even before they are born or have the chance to bring their own, unique contribution into the world.”
Parolin invoked Pope Francis’ 2020 encyclical Fratelli tutti, which said difficulties must be approached with “renewed hope” based on the “abundant seeds of goodness in our human family.”
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“Many are the signs of hope, even in our weary societies,” said Parolin. “To be builders of peace in our societies means to find these seeds and shoots of fraternity.”