No Peace Without Respect for Human Rights, Says Pope

Welcomes 7 New Ambassadors to Vatican

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 27, 2004 ( John Paul II says there can be no authentic peace without respect for human rights.

The Pope expressed this conviction today when he received the letters of credence of seven new ambassadors to the Holy See. The envoys came from Suriname, Sri Lanka, Mali, Yemen, Zambia, Nigeria and Tunisia.

«Disturbing news constantly arrives from all continents concerning the human rights situation, showing how men, women and children are tortured and how their dignity is profoundly offended, contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,» the Holy Father said.

«In this way, all humanity suffers injury and contempt,» he added, speaking in French to the group of seven diplomats, after having delivered specific addresses to each of the countries represented.

«As all human beings are our brothers, we cannot remain quiet in the face of these intolerable abuses,» he added.

«Today I make an appeal to the consciences of our contemporaries,» the Pontiff said, taking advantage of the occasion given him by the presence of the ambassadors.

«Consciences must be educated so that the unbearable violence weighing upon our brothers ceases once and for all, and so that all people mobilize to ensure that everyone’s fundamental rights are respected,» the Holy Father said.

«We cannot live in peace, and our hearts cannot remain in peace, if people are not treated in a dignified way. We have the duty to show solidarity toward everyone,» he continued.

«There will be peace,» he added, «if we all mobilize — and you particularly, as diplomats — to ensure every person on the planet is respected. Only peace enables us to have hope for the future.»

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