The Church and Human Rights: An Address by Archbishop Mamberti at the United Nations
Archbishop Mamberti, the secretary for the Vatican’s relations with states, in addressing the 62nd session of the U.N. stated:
“Many of the problems that today are attributed almost exclusively to cultural and religious differences have their origin in economic and social injustices." He went on to call for a fully operational peacekeeping force in Darfur, Sudan and for a solution for the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians which is capable of recognizing the legitimate expectations of each side. Referring to the crisis in Myanmar he noted that Pope Benedict's appeal called for “dialogue, good will and a spirit of humanity. May a solution be found quickly for the good of the country and a better future for all its inhabitants?”
Archbishop Mamberti went on to assert the inherent right to life is to be respected everywhere. He said that we must work to stop and reverse the culture of death embraced by some social and legal structures that try to make the suppression of life acceptable by disguising it as a medical or social service. In this sense, the abolition of the death penalty should also be seen as a consequence of full respect for the right to life.
On the issue of equality, he noted that “the quest for equality between men and women has achieved positive results. Nevertheless, inequalities in the exercise of basic human rights unfortunately persists in many places. This leads to a breakdown in the social fabric and results in women’s objectification and exploitation. The vindication of equality needs to be accompanied by the awareness that it goes hand in hand with and does not endanger, much less contradict, the recognition of both the difference and complementarity between men and women.”
He concluded that “Faith in human dignity demands that the problem of migrations is approached in the context of human rights, family rights, and children’s rights.” He said that “while it is essential to fight human trafficking and it is legitimate to curb illegal migration, no one can justify measures which put lives at risk or gravely offend human dignity and rights.”
Terry McCaffrey, Parish Human Concerns Committee, December 2007. From the October 25th 2007 edition of Origins Magazine.