Anthology of Pope's Diplomatic Activity Compiled

Human Rights a Consistent Focus

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 18, 2004 ( Human rights have been the focus of John Paul II’s diplomatic activity, as reflected in a published anthology of his diplomatic addresses over the past 25 years.

«Pope John Paul II and the Challenges of Papal Diplomacy — Anthology (1978-2003)» is a collection of more than 300 papal speeches to international organizations.

It includes 137 messages to heads of state, 18 to heads of government, and 691 to ambassadors at the presentation of letters of credence.

Archbishop André Dupuy, apostolic nuncio in Venezuela, oversaw the compilation of the volume, which was promoted by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

Among the topics most often addressed by the Holy Father in his diplomatic speeches are religious freedom, social development, and the promotion of peace and of the rights of the family and nations, as well as the relentless commitment to the defense of all human life.

The subjects are varied but always addressed with «the audacity of truth,» Archbishop Dupuy said today at a press conference.

«Respect of these rights is not a question of political convenience, but stems from the dignity of human nature in virtue of its condition as creature of God,» he added.

The Church, the archbishop said, «has the duty to intervene, to raise her voice every time that the dignity of the human person, the moral values of justice, freedom, truth, solidarity and peace are contradicted by the vicissitudes of this world.»

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