Vatican Aide: UN Could Be Great
Says International Groups Must Defend Human Rights
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Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, affirmed this on the weekly television program "Octava Dies." He dedicated an episode to a reflection on Benedict XVI's Jan. 7 speech to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See.
Father Lombardi noted the Pope's assertion that "the international community has before itself today the fundamental task of responding to the world's desire for peace and justice."
"A climate of peace, security and stability are necessary for equitable and sustainable development," Father Lombardi said. "Not only this, but it is necessary to work on the solid basis of that which is permanent and essential to the human person, of his greatness and dignity.
"The roles of international institutions such as the United Nations could then be great, if they commit themselves to the putting into practice the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."
The Jesuit said that after the recent U.N. approval of a moratorium on the death penalty, an international discussion on the defense of life and its sacredness should follow.
He said: "Assuring the Church's participation in the common effort, the Pope concluded with words of great inspiration for those who work in the international world and in relationships among peoples: ‘Diplomacy is, in a certain sense, the art of hope. It lives from hope and seeks to discern even its most tenuous signs. Diplomacy must give hope.'
"In his encyclical, Benedict XVI invited all of us to hope. Even diplomacy and politics find their most noble and highest meaning in this perspective."