“A Christian is called to offer to contemporary culture an acute sense of the dignity of the human person,” said Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life. Today, the Church “points out that the rights of man must be interpreted in the perspective of the most disfavoured and the most marginalized,” he added.
Archbishop Paglia was intervening, on Monday, December 3, 2018 , at a Conference on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man, stated a press release of the Holy See’s Permanent Mission to the UN at Geneva, organizer of the event with the Pontifical Academy for Life, the Mission of the Order of Malta and the Caritas in Veritate Foundation. Monsignor Ivan Jurkovic, Permanent Observer of the Holy See at the United Nations Organization and at other international organizations in Geneva, opened the one-day Conference entitled “The Dignity of Life.”
“The human person” has an “inestimable: value, because the person is “an end and not a means,” said Archbishop Paglia, stressing the specific contribution of Christianity to the subject of “dignity.”
Christianity, he reminded, points out that man is created in the image of God — a God who in the Gospel “identifies Himself with the poor, the excluded.” “We can understand how the Christian vision of human dignity contests the dominant thought today according to which dignity is founded on the canons of strength, wellbeing, and appearance.”
Only an authentic dialogue between cultures and traditions can help to understand better how to articulate a high-level reflection on the subject of the rights of man. In fact, at the moment of the 1948 Declaration, after the tragedy of World War II, the context was very clear and evident, said the President of the Academy.
“Today, however, we live in a different context, and the evangelical affirmation ‘happy are the poor’ could be translated by ‘forward the poor.’”