Contemporary Issue: Human Rights


Human_rights

Pope Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum is the foundation upon which the CST principle of Human Dignity rests. In a letter that reflected a sea change with regards to the structures of society during the Industrial Revolution, His Holiness urged that

"no man may with impunity violate that human dignity which God himself treats with great reverence" (RN, 40)

Over 110 years later, Pope Benedict XVI echoed Leo's concern in his historical essay, "Europe and Its Discontents", originally published in the journal First Things:

“Fundamental rights are neither created by the lawmaker nor granted to the citizen. The value of human dignity…takes precedence over all political decision-making”.  (Benedict XVI, “Europe and its Discontents”, Without Roots: Basic Books, 2007)

Human Rights, Religious Freedom, and the State

In his encyclical letter Dignitatis Humanae which stemmed from the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI provided commentary regarding the concept of freedom of religion - and the extent to which governing states uphold this freedom. His words are quite noteworthy, some 50 years later: 

"[F]orms of government still exist under which, even though freedom of religious worship receives constitutional recognition, the powers of government are engaged in the effort to deter citizens from the profession of religion and to make life very difficult and dangerous for religious communities." (DH, 15)


Related Encyclicals

Rerum Novarum Dignitatis Humanae

Related Thoughts on Human Rights

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CST places economic freedom parallel to political freedom. It recognizes that free enterprise, rightly understood and implemented, is currently the best available vehicle for systemically caring for the physical needs of the poor, and true global economy is the key way to create lasting development and, thereby, peace. Taken from "Democracy and Free Market Economies"
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Related Speakers / Panelists / Authors on: Human Rights

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Benedict
The goal of both the Year of Faith and the Synod for the New Evangelization is to reawaken the faith in Catholics, so we can be better witnesses to the love of Christ and his Church in our families, communities and in our every day lives. Read more
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